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Hero image for Mauri

Mauri

Film (Excerpts) – 1988

PG
Parental Guidance

With Mauri, Merata Mita became the first Māori woman to direct a dramatic feature alone. Set around a love triangle, Mauri (meaning life force) explores cultural tensions, identity, and changing ways of life in a East Coast town. Along with Ngāti the previous year, Mauri played a key role in the rise of Māori cinema. The crew of 33 Māori and 20 Pākehā included interns from Hawkes Bay wānanga — plus composer Hirini Melbourne, artist Ralph Hotere as production designer, and actors Eva Rickard and Zac Wallace (star of Utu). Mita argued that filming got better after she fired "racist, arrogant" members of the crew. 

We had people working on the film who objected to the locations I had chosen, who tried to shorten the script and cut out all the marae scenes because they didn't understand them.
– Writer/director Merata Mita on the challenges of making the film she wanted, in The Auckland Star, 23 June 1987, page B1

Produced by

Awatea Films

Acknowledgements

Made in association with the NZ Film Commission and Radio Hauraki

Music

Female vocalist Te Rita Papesch

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