New Zealand International Film Festival and City Gallery present
Dir. Max Currie Rūrangi 2020
New Zealand | English and te reo Māori, English subtitles | 96min | Rating tbc
A young trans activist, Caz (Elz Carrad), breaks down in tears in front of a support group. He doesn’t know how he can help the queer people in front of him and feels guilty—even shameful—about it. Like many young queer people, he’s burned out, not by his struggle, but by the struggles of those around him. Having fled his hometown of Rūrangi to find himself, he returns, hoping to connect not just with his father (Kirk Torrance), who he left ten years ago pre-transition, but the small community whose residents are now having struggles of their own. Director Max Currie hosted the LGBTQ+ TV show Queernation for two years, before writing full time for Shortland Street. His debut feature, Everything We Loved, screened at NZIFF14.
Rūrangi is unapologetically frank and unapologetically queer, with not just a strong ensemble—Ramon Te Wake, Arlo Gree,n and Kirk Torrance being special standouts—but a diverse, inclusive cast. But the calling card for the web series, packaged here into a slick five-episode binge watch, is the searing screen debut of Elz Carrad. Carrad carries the entire series on his shoulders; he externalises, with detail and charisma, the struggles of a person stuck between wanting, nay, needing, to talk about and express his own demons, but always caught dealing with the needs of others.
Door sales thirty minutes prior to screening. All seats are general admission.