How Mum Decolonised the Screen – World Premiere

The revolution isn’t just running out with a gun. If a film I make causes indigenous people to feel stronger about themselves, then I’m achieving something worthwhile for the revolution.  Merata Mita

 

Merata Mita, pioneering Māori filmmaker and international champion of women in indigenous film, is celebrated by her youngest son, archivist Heperi Mita, collaborating with his siblings to deliver a richly personal portrait.

World Premiere

https://www.nziff.co.nz/2018/auckland/merata-how-mum-decolonised-the-screen/

Heperi Mita will present his film in person at its NZIFF screenings.

By the time the pioneering indigenous filmmaker and activist Merata Mita died suddenly in 2010, she had packed an extraordinary amount of action into her 68 years. If her youngest son Heperi Mita became a film archivist and a filmmaker in order to discover the stories she did not live to tell him, then we in Aotearoa have something new to thank her for. His first film is a remarkable accomplishment, a compelling Great Woman portrait that speaks intimately from personal experience.

He has an abundant archive of film and TV appearances to draw on, beginning with his mother’s mesmerising testimony as a Māori woman bringing up children alone in the 1977 TV documentary Māori Women in a Pākehā World. By 1979 she was making landmark documentaries herself, most notably Bastion Point: Day 507 (1980) and Patu! (1983) which rattled Kiwi complacency by so clearly identifying the violation of Māori rights – the latter film explicitly tying New Zealand’s record to apartheid in South Africa. In 1988 her film Mauri, deftly quoted in this one, was the first feature written and directed by a Māori woman.

Heperi is the first to acknowledge that he grew up in the best of times, when Merata and his father Geoff Murphy lived in Los Angeles and Hawaii. He turns to his older siblings to learn about earlier days when living was often hand-to-mouth and police raided the house in search of Patu! footage. They are a loving whānau whose testimony reverberates with the conviction that their mother’s fierce maternal instinct was integral to her work as a fighter, mover, shaker, mentor and artist of abiding international significance.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85sAwnWVkL8

 

Screenings:

August 2nd 2018    Thursday, 6.15pm, ASB Waterfront Theatre, Auckland

August 3rd 2018     Friday, 1.30pm, ASB Waterfront Theatre, Auckland

August 9th 2018     Thursday, 6.15pm, Wellington

August 12th 2018   Sunday, 1.15pm

August 15th 2018   Wednesday, 6.15pm Christchurch

August 16th 2018   Thursday, 1.30 pm Christchurch

August 17 th 2018  Friday, 6.15pm Dunedin

August 18 2018      Saturday,  1.30pm Dunedin

Director Heperi Mita

Producer Chelsea Winstanley

Executive Producer Cliff Curtis

Creative Producer Tearepa Kahi

Associate Producer Manutai Schuster

Photography Mike Jonathon

Editor Te Rurehe Paki

Consulting Editor Annie Collins

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