Keswick Film Club - Waru

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Sunday 10th February 5:00 PM


Director: 8 Directors Country: New Zealand
Cert: 15 Year: 2017 Length: 86 mins Language: English and Maori

Programme Notes

Cinema Handout (PDF 117KB)

Audience Reaction

Score: 47.4% Attendance: 99



  • More details on this film at the Internet Movie Database


Members' Choice

Directed By Chelsea Cohen, Ainsley Gardiner, Casey Kaa, Renae Maihi, Awanui Simich-Pene, Briar Grace Smith, Paula Whetu Jones, Katie Wolfe.

An eight year old boy - Waru - has been killed by the person supposedly caring for him. The local Maori community is devastated by the loss.

The producers of 'Waru', Kerry Warkia and Kiel McNaughton charged eight female directors with the remit to produce a ten minute vignette each, to be shot in real time in no more than one day; put together, each vignette is a chapter in the community's reaction. The sum of the result is "a fascinating glimpse into New Zealand's contemporary Maori community, Waru brings a sense of dramatic, urgent realism to a story that plays out like a suspenseful mystery" - Deborah Young, Hollywood Reporter.

We start with Charm, who is preparing the food for the mourners. "Her stormy confrontation with Waru's sobbing young mother is truly anguishing, as the girl begs her to use supernatural powers to 'bring my baby back'" - Deborah Young again. This is followed by Anahera, trying to deal with the loss at his school.

The central chapter is the Tangi (funeral), which concentrates on the ancestral traditions, with his two grandmothers, from different tribes, contending for his body. You will have to come along to see what the rest is about; "Joined together, the shorts are a powerful chorus of female Maori voices united in finding a way to protect all that is vulnerable" - Gayle MacDonald, Globe and Mail.



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Keswick Film Club won the Best New Film Society at the British Federation Of Film Societies awards in 2000.

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