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The Power of Music (Te Kaha o Te Waiata) Short Film – 1988 Documentary Music

The Power of Music (Te Kaha o Te Waiata)

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Auckland reggae band Herbs could have released their new album in the comfortable confines of an Auckland nightclub. Instead, they chose to travel to Ruatoria — a troubled and divided East Coast town where turmoil surrounding a Rastafarian sect had resulted in assaults, kidnappings and firebombed churches. Lee Tamahori and John Day's documentary captures an emotional experience for band and locals as they meet at Mangahanea marae in an attempt to shift the focus from disunity to harmony. This footage also yielded the memorable Sensitive to a Smile music video.

I experienced aroha, I experienced people living together. There was a timelessness about being down there. It could have been 1863.
– Hugh Lynn (Herbs’ manager)

Produced by

Matte Box Films

Acknowledgements

NZ Film Commission Short Film Fund