In making Mauri, Merata Mita (Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāi Te Rangi) became the first Māori woman to write and direct a dramatic feature film. Mauri (meaning life force, 1988), is the story of Rewi, a man haunted by a past that threatens to engulf his future. The story is set among the colourful characters of a once-thriving settlement, Te Mata, upon whom the encroachment by Europeans spells disaster. Now isolated by lack of numbers, time and distance, the remaining survivors form a tight-knit community which outsiders find impenetrable. Rewi's deceit forces him to become part of that community and his life is inextricably interwoven with those around him. Mauri starts with birth, ends with death and is about life.
Dir. Merata Mita | 101min | Rated PG
It was a quietly satisfying moment to enter the theatre on the opening night of Mauri and see the pride of so many brown faces. I am very proud to have made something for us, so relentless and uncompromising, and for me it was another brief fulfilled.
In association with Encounter. The second of three Winter Weekend Screenings. See also La Noire de … and The Stuart Hall Project.