May 18, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Movies, music and kai this Waitangi Day

2 min read

What better way to celebrate our national day than to watch a New Zealand movie, listen to some New Zealand bands and tuck in to some traditional New Zealand kai?

This Sunday, Christchurch Art Gallery will be celebrating Waitangi Day with a programme of free events, including two showings of the movie The Strength of Water, and three hours of live folk-jazz tunes, tropic soul and reggae beats.

Filmed in the far north of New Zealand, The Strength of Water follows ten year old twins Kimi and Melody, who are forced apart when mysterious stranger Tai arrives in their isolated coastal town. This touching 89-minute film is directed by award-winning New Zealand Armagan Ballantyne, whose five short films have screened at festivals around the world including Venice, New York and Telluride in the US. Its also the first feature film written by acclaimed award-winning New Zealand playwright Briar Grace-Smith.

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Gallery director Jenny Harper describes the film as one every New Zealander should see.

Beautiful yet haunting, this film represents Grace-Smiths sharp and inspiring observation of New Zealands people and culture. On a day when we acknowledge our people and our history, this film is definitely one to see.

For a pre-movie insight, head along to the Christchurch Art Gallery at 6pm on Wednesday (2 February) and listen as Grace-Smith reveals the joys and challenges of writing the script, and her inspiration behind it.

Visitors are also invited to enjoy a summer mix of live music in the forecourt from midday on Sunday. Kicking off the afternoon are Christchurch group Emeralds and Greenstone, performing a medley of Maori and Celtic music, with a modern twist. Fusing together both cultures and musical traditions, Laura Tomlin and Ariana Tikao perform lyrics in English, Te Reo Maori and occasionally Scot and Irish Gaelic.

Also taking to the stage to present Island Summer are local group Pacific Underground, mixing the flavours of the warm tropics with traditional music from Samoa. DJ Whero, aka Redford Grennell, will also entertain audiences with his reggae sounds.

A portable hangi will be available in the forecourt, serving food at 11.30am and again at 1pm ($10 per person, cash only).

The Strength of Water will be showing in the Philip Carter Family Auditorium at Christchurch Art Gallery at 10.30am and 3.30pm on Sunday 6 February. Live music starts at 12pm. Both events are free of charge.

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