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The Power of Music (Te Kaha o Te Waiata)

Short Film (Full Length) – 1988

Auckland band Herbs could have released their new album in the comfortable confines of an Auckland nightclub. Instead, they travelled 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 award-winning 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)

Key Cast & Crew

Trisha Downie


Brian Kassler


Lee Tamahori


John Day

Camera, Co-Director

Patrick Monaghan


Hammond Peek


Produced by

Matte Box Films

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