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Parihaka Film Debuts in NZ International Film Festival

MEDIA RELEASE July 2, 2012

Parihaka Film Debuts in NZ International Film Festival

Tatarakihi – The Children of Parihaka, a new documentary from Documentary Edge award-winning producer/director Paora Joseph and executive producer Gaylene Preston, will have its World Premiere as part of this year’s New Zealand International Film Festival.

The World Premiere will be on Saturday July 28 at 3.30pm Te Papa’s Soundings Theatre, followed by Festival lunchtime screenings on August 3 at City Gallery.

Auckland audiences will see the film on Sunday August 5 at 3.30pm at SkyCity Theatre, accompanied by kaumatua and representatives from Parihaka Pa in Taranaki, whose story – past and present - the film tells.

Set in the present, Tatarakihi – The Children of Parihaka, follows a group of schoolchildren from the Taranaki pa on a bus trip they made in 2009 to follow the forced journey of their ancestors, political prisoners from Parihaka, in the 1880s. The film weaves the observations of the children - through artwork, poetry and song - and the footage of their journey with archival photography to bring the history to life. It tells the story of the ancestors who, with the leadership of Te Whiti o Rongomai and Tohu K?kahi, used passive resistance to oppose the Government’s confiscation of their lands.

NZ International Film Festival director Bill Gosden says, “the passage of knowledge conveyed in and by Tatarakihi is both sombre and enriching. The film is narrated by the children and combines footage of their hikoi (some of it shot by the children themselves) with vivid archival photography.”

Producer/director Paora Joseph: “While it recounts days of darkness, Tatarakihi – The Children Of Parihaka is imbued with a sense of restoration and hope, enabling a continued dialogue for understanding and mutual respect of both M?ori and P?keh? in the New Zealand we know today. This film will also provide reflection to other indigenous nations that memory of the ancient world is important within the modern context that we now find ourselves in.

“This film is dedicated to the memory of all who have carried the kaupapa of passive resistance taught by Te Whiti o Rongomai and Tohu K?kahi.”

Watch the trailer here:

Tatarakihi – The Children of Parihaka will also screen in the NZIFF in Dunedin on August 7 & 8 and Christchurch and New Plymouth on dates yet to be programmed.

Paora Joseph (Atihau-a-Papaarangi, Nga Rauru) made the Documentary Edge Festival award-winning short film Hiding Behind the Green Screen. He also won the best up-and-coming director award at the same festival and the film was an official selection at the FIFO International Documentary Film Festival and the Duke City DocFest.

Executive producer Gaylene Preston is a long-time advocate of the importance of telling New Zealand stories and has been associated with Parihaka since 1981. Her dramatic features as well as her many documentaries combine entertainment with a strong social message - Home By Christmas (2009), Lovely Rita (2007), Perfect Strangers (2003), War Stories Our Mothers Never Told Us (1995), Bread & Roses (1993), Ruby and Rata (1990) and Mr Wrong (1985).


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