Wednesday 24 March at 7.30pm
Merata Mita│Aotearoa/New Zealand│1988│90 mins│PG
The first narrative feature written and directed by a Māori woman follows a prison escapee (Anzac Wallace) who hides out in an isolated East Coast community in the 1950s.
“Mauri (meaning life force) is loosely set around a love triangle and explores cultural tensions, identity, and changing ways of life in a dwindling East Coast town. As with [the] Barry Barclay film Ngāti, Mauri played a key role in the burgeoning Māori screen industry. The crew numbered 33 Māori and 20 Pākehā, including interns from Hawkes Bay wānanga. Kiwi art icon Ralph Hotere was production designer; the cast included Zac Wallace (star of Utu) and Māori activist Eva Rickard.” – NZ On Screen
“There are passages in Mauri that are more passionate in their feeling than anything else in New Zealand cinema. The emotion is so raw at times that it doesn’t seem ready for public consumption. (…) Other sequences have a satisfying dramatic fullness. The ending is breathtaking… Mauri is a rich brew, not a smooth one. Even at its most frenzied, it is easily the most interesting feature made in New Zealand this year and an imposing statement of elemental female power.” – Bill Gosden, Wellington Film Festival 1988.