May 18, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Boy (by Taika Waititi) screens to packed audience in Rotorua

3 min read

Rotorua’s Word of Mouth showing of the film Boy by Taika Waititi screened to a packed audience on Wednesday, March 10th at the Reading Cinema.

We turned up at 5.50pm (for a 6.30 showing) and there were already 20 people waiting to be seated with a few die-hards who came hoping to get in even though they didn’t have tickets (we had a few (seriously) last-second cancellations so they managed to get seats, woohoo!)

Cast member, Darcy Ray Flavell-Hudson (who plays Holden) sits with whanau at the Rotorua WOM screening

We had some of our Te Arawa kaumatua attend, teachers and academics, business consultants, community and health workers, students and even a few lucky rangatahi. They were all stoked to be sitting in the audience with one of the cast, Rotorua local DarcyRay Flavell-Hudson, who plays Holden in the movie, with many making sure they scored an autograph after the film finished.

DarceyRay is 16 yrs old and his tribal affiliations are Whakatohea and Ngati Rangiwewehi (he actually just performed inNgati Rangiwewehi, one of the winning kapahaka teams @ the regionals).

We began with a karakia, and the movie got under way.

It was mean, across the spectrum, tamariki, rangatahi, pakeke, kaumatua all were in some way touched by the film Mei Foster-Rakuraku (Ngati Pikiao, Tuhoe) said it took her back (she loved the outside bath scene), scholar and researcher Dr Tepora Emery (Ngati Pikiao, Te Arawa, Tainui), who had lived in Waihau Bay for 7 years and raised her first two children there loved seeing the landscape and all the familiar faces. Many spoke of how hilarious, touching and uplifting it was.

Taika in a March 5th interview with Helen Barlow of the New Zealand Herald discussed the genre, saying, “I mean, we’re a funny people, but we’re not well known for our comedies. All of our films are about teen suicide and people bashing each other up, or spiritual stories about people who talk to animals and are connected to the earth. We haven’t really embraced the Maori nerd yet and that’s what I’m trying to do. I love this film. I’m really happy with the way it turned out.”

Our boy, Atutahi, said it “almost made my tears come out”. Among the many laughs, there were a few quiet tears (don’t worry we won’t say who!) and a huge round of applause at the end.

Boy” by Taika Waititi. What was a delightful movie! So funny, gorgeously shot & with a real heart. Go and see it. It’s gona be a kiwi hit.

peesullytwitter.com12 hours ago

Other comments ranged from where can we buy the DVD, to when is it heading to Aussie I know our whanau would love it. There was even some inquiries about the UK and the US!! We had whanau wanting to meet Taika, some wanted to watch the movie again straight away and there were lots of disappointment that we ran out of posters. Heaps of whanau said the movie took them back to 1984, the odd Michael Jackson fan was stoked to see MJ up in lights (our nephew included) and some even claimed to still have their stubby shorts!

What was particularly exciting about this film is that Maori represent at virtually every level of the film’s creation and development, a cause for celebration in itself! Boy has won international awards including being nominated for the Sundance Festival and winning the Best Feature (Generation section) at the Berlin Film Festival with the judges saying:

It is a rich mix of ideas which strike and collide to create poetic moments that speak, despite the remote location, to all of us today. With fantastic charismatic performances all around, including a striking moustache on the director.”

The Waihau Bay Hometown screening done with style!! (click to enlarge image)

The Waihou Bay hometown screening was fittingly held first on 13 March. Other screenings have and are being held in Tauranga, Kerikeri, Whangarei, Gisbourne and Manukau, all have been fully booked!

Boy will begin screening nationally on 25 March 2010.

In the next few weeks we hope to be bringing you exclusive interviews with the cast and crew, so watch this space!

Ka rawe!

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