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Mythical Movie Adventure for Maori Language Week

Mythical Movie Adventure for Māori Language Week

A mythical island warrior woman comes to the aid of a victimised girl on award winning Rotuman film THE LAND HAS EYES, this week’s Sunday feature (July 30 at 9.00 PM.)

Shamed by her village for being poor and the daughter of a falsely convicted thief, Viki (Sapeta Taito) is inspired and haunted by the Warrior Woman (Rena Owen) from her island's mythology.

Viki’s father Hapati is a hard working villager who was wrongly accused of stealing his neighbour’s coconuts. Stressed out and working excessively hard so he can pay the court fines, Hapati becomes ill and dies, leaving Viki distraught and alone. Before he dies, he tells Viki of the ancient Rotuman belief that the land is vigilant and will avenge any wrongdoing.

The intriguing film title originates from a traditional Rotuman whakatauki or proverb which says “The land has eyes, the land has teeth and knows the truth.” This suggests land is a living being with which humans have an enduring relationship, a belief that Māori also share.

Written by Rotuman playwright, Vilsoni Hereniko, THE LAND HAS EYES had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival 2004 before appearing in numerous film festivals around the world.

It was a huge promotional boost for the small island of Rotuma, populated by about 2800 people at last count during their 1996 census. For Hereniko, it was also the realisation of his dream to make a feature film, based loosely on his life growing up in Rotuma.

The result is an emotionally charged story where the underdog triumphs over adversity. Don’t miss this stunning indigenous movie THE LAND HAS EYES on Sunday July 30 at 9.00 pm.


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