October 24 – 25

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Eight different Māori women direct their own segment of this uniquely structured film. Each of these sequences presents a snippet of a different Māori woman’s day, using fluid, continuous shots. Together, these form an expansive story: a tight-knit community dealing with the tragic death of a child. The film portrays the effects of colonialism, white prejudice, and familial breakdown while emphasizing these women’s unique characters, quirks, and social roles. The plot unfolds gradually, the centerpiece of which is the tangi (funeral) of the boy, where family members clash amidst a mournful, traditional tribute to ancestors. Waru foregrounds a matriarchal vision of society in which women’s stories are the most integral, interesting, and powerful. -ST

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