Presented by BIRRARANGGA Film Festival
Closing Night – Muru
Set against the backdrop of the stunning Tūhoe native bush, writer and director Tearepa Kahi (Poi E: The Story of Our Song NZIFF 2016, Herbs: Songs of Freedom NZIFF 2019, Mt Zion) plunges us into one of the most charged episodes of Aotearoa’s history: the Tūhoe raids of 15 Oct 2007.
True to Kahi’s masterful commitment to centreing Indigenous narratives, the film’s heartbeat is held by the locals. Community Sergeant ‘Taffy’ Tawharau (Cliff Curtis) has returned home to care for his ailing father. In addition to shuttling the local tamariki to kura and getting kaumātua to their medical check-ups, he must also contend with the rebellious but loveable teenager, Rusty (Poroaki Merritt-McDonald) also recently returned home — but from six months in a Youth Corrections Facility.
Against this backdrop of whānau and whenua, the police armed offenders squad descends on the sleepy town of Rūātoki — on a school day. Invoking New Zealand’s new anti-terrorism laws, the manhunt begins for Tūhoe activist, Tame Iti (who plays himself), the alleged mastermind behind a potential political uprising and ringleader of military-style training camps in Te Urewera.
Pre-screening short film: IVALU (2022)
Ivalu is gone. Her little sister is desperate to find her. Her father does not care. The vast Greenlandic nature holds secrets. The search for Ivalu is on.
Directed by Anders Walter, Pipaluk K. Jørgensen | Country: Greenland | 16 minutes
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