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Cousins

Film (Trailer) – 2021

I tried to find you, Mata. We all did.
– Makareta (Briar Grace-Smith) encounters her lost cousin Mata (Tanea Heke) in Wellington
Cousins is a story about strength and resilience, touching on epic events in the history of Aotearoa ... however, at its heart it is an intimate story, about the theft of a child and her family's lifelong quest to bring her back home to her people.
– Co-director, writer and actor Briar Grace-Smith on the movies, in a 21 January 2021 press release
What I enjoyed most of all was having the opportunity to be on-set during production where there was a joyful whānau atmosphere, and where the only raised voice was when it was time to 'cut'.
– Cousins author Patricia Grace on the making of the film, in a 21 January 2021 press release
Merata [Mita] was my mentor. She had a significant influence in my journey with film, so to be able to pick up Cousins where she left it and continue her legacy, is an honour.
– Co-director and producer Ainsley Gardiner on taking over Cousins after the death of original director Merata Mita, The Rotorua Daily Post, 20 May 2019
Patricia Grace writes with an enviable clarity and power. The three stories have complicated emotional and imaginative resonances. They invoke the familiar confusions of family life and the pleasures and humiliations encountered in an alien world outside the family, yet move naturally into a mysticism which has none of the disrupting bravura of the 'special effect'.
– Margaret Mahy reviews Patricia Grace's original novel, The Evening Post, 31 July 1992, page 7
...an understated, yet emotion-filled tale of love and loss, of identity and the institutions that try to deny and reshape it and of the power of whānau, all magnificently played out by a fabulous ensemble of homegrown actors of all ages ... Cousins is a timely and vital look at the importance of identity, family and institutional inequalities, some of which shamefully still exist today.
– Stuff critic James Croot in a four and a half star review, 4 March 2021