Vincent Ward – In Spring One Plants Alone (1980)

 Vincent Ward – In Spring One Plants Alone (1980)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Vincent Ward – In Spring One Plants Alone (1980)

“A thoroughly devastating documentary on 82 year old Maori woman’s struggle for survival.”
Los Angeles Times

This is the story of Puhi, an aged Maori woman and Niki, her fully grown but wholly dependent son. The world they occupy is not a world of large events but the rituals of everyday life, traditions and interdependence. “In Spring One Plants Alone” documents the minutiae of their very enclosed existence. Filmed over a period of one and a half years, it emerges as a rare, haunting and powerful portrayal of their life together. This is the story of their rituals and of their survival. The small and disconnected instances that we encounter form a lone vision of the rifts and the bond between an old woman and her disturbed son. Continue reading

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Geoff Murphy – UTU (1983)

utudvd Geoff Murphy   UTU (1983)

imdbimage Geoff Murphy   UTU (1983)

During the New Zealand Maori Wars, Lance Corporal Te Wheke becomes enraged when a British military raid destroys a village and murders his fellow tribe members. Deciding he’s had enough, Te Wheke takes up “utu”, an eternal vengeance quest against the white man and his establishment.

Using extreme violence, Te Wheke murders and pillages churches and farms, rousing his fellow domesticated Maori into fighting alongside him while doing so. On one raid, Te Wheke kills the wife of the wrong man, Williamson, and sets Williamson off into his own murderous rage against the Maori raiders.

Stuck in the middle of all this madness is a young British army officer, Lt. Scott. Returning home to New Zealand after years in South Africa, he finds the natives and the British armies fighting a senseless and violent war over a series of senseless events and mistakes.

The three men’s paths cross, lit in their own ways by the passions of utu, which provides the ultimate test for whether British justice is justice at all for the Maori people. Continue reading

Niki Caro – Whale Rider (2002)

whaleriderp Niki Caro   Whale Rider (2002)

logoimdbb Niki Caro   Whale Rider (2002)

Nominated for Oscar. Another 29 wins & 28 nominations.

From IMDb:

“The film presents a glimpse of the Maori society in New Zealand’s North Island. Having visited New Zealand, but not being very familiar with the Maori culture, this film was a refreshing way to learn some aspects of it.

The story presented here has a lot to do with pride and tradition, which is a running theme among different cultural groups the world over. It has to do with the frustration of Koro by the defection of his eldest son, the designated heir of hundred years of a bloodline where only the males can carry the knowledge and the legends from one generation to the next. Continue reading

Niki Caro – Memory & Desire (1998)

ijrzt Niki Caro   Memory & Desire (1998)

logoimdbb Niki Caro   Memory & Desire (1998)


Sayo and Keiji elope to New Zealand to get away from Keiji’s interfering mother. On their honeymoon they are free to express all their desires and passions, but just when it should be their happiest times, Keiji cannot make love and is accidentally drowned. As tradition dictates, Sayo must return to live with her mother-in-law. However, Sayo can only find a modicum of peace by returning to the New Zealand beach where Keiji drowned. NZ Videos Continue reading

pixel Niki Caro   Memory & Desire (1998)