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Gala Screening for Homecoming of South Taranaki Film

MEDIA RELEASE DATE: 3 October 2012

Gala Screening for Homecoming of South Taranaki Film:
Te Hokinga Mai a Tātarakihi - The Children of Parihaka
Tuesday, 23 October, 6pm Hawera Cinema 2

Tātarakihi – The Children of Parihaka - described by NZ Herald’s Peter Calder as a “modest and affecting road trip doco” and Graeme Tuckett of Dominion Post as “a gentle film, full of compassion. I cannot recommend it highly enough” - is coming to South Taranaki for a special homecoming screening.

Te Hokinga Mai a Tātarakihi - The Children of Parihaka is a gala screening of the film on Tuesday October 23 at Hawera Cinema 2. The event, supported by South Taranaki District Council, will feature special guests from Parihaka, the children from the film and the filmmakers, welcomed to Hawera by Ngati Ruanui iwi members.

The film - about the 2009 journey of a group of children from Parihaka to places their ancestors were taken to in the 1880s - has been making its own journey to cinemas around the country and now comes home to South Taranaki.

Maata Wharehoka, the Kaitiaki of Te Niho Meeting House, Parihaka says, “This film is a story told by our children from our Kura Kaupapa Maori o Tamarongo, Opunake. It’s a film made by one of our own, Paora Joseph and his wife Janine Martin, and graciously supported by renowned filmmaker Gaylene Preston. It is important to show this film in Hawera because it not only embraces the story of Parihaka, it acknowledges the imprisonment of those men from Pakakohe from Ngarauru in 1869. We want to pay tribute to all those who were imprisoned for their acts of passive resistance.”

She also says that the film is “a gentle approach to telling a harsh story. It is well balanced and allows the viewer to take from the storyline what they feel is right for them at the time.”

South Taranaki Mayor, Ross Dunlop says the story of Parihaka is one of New Zealand’s most important and profound. “The history of this place should never be forgotten and there is so much to learn from all of the events surrounding this special South Taranaki place,” says Mr Dunlop. “Congratulations to the film makers for recording and telling the very significant and at times disturbing stories about Parihaka.”

After this gala screening, Tātarakihi – The Children of Parihaka will feature in the NZ International Film Festival in New Plymouth on October 27, 28 and 31. Then it will come back to Hawera Cinema 2 for a one-week only season starting on November 1. However, it will be available for school group bookings after that.

It will also open in Auckland at Rialto Newmarket on November 1. See for cinemas and session times in other areas.

Adam Fresco of said the film is: “a raw and heartfelt record of a sacred journey of remembrance . . . . powerful, provocative and pertinent.”

In 2009, a group of Taranaki children were taken on a bus trip to visit the places their ancestors, passive resistors from Parihaka in the 1880s, were imprisoned and forced to labour in. Places like Addington Jail in Christchurch and various buildings and roads they worked on in Dunedin. Along the way, they were welcomed at local marae by descendants of local Maori who supported the prisoners at the time. It was an emotional journey, documented by Joseph’s camera and the children themselves. The narration is by the children, from their writing, poetry, song and art, expressed in a workshop after the journey.

Children, known at Parihaka as “tātarakihi” (cicadas), after their chattering noise, have a special place in the village’s history. In 1881 the children of Parihaka greeted the invading Armed Constabulary with white feathers of peace, in accord with the philosophy of passive resistance taught by their two leaders, Te Whiti o Rongomai and Tohu Kākahi

Tātarakihi – The Children of Parihaka records the journey of today’s children of Parihaka to these lasting monuments to the years of punishment endured by their ancestors. It weaves a delicate tapestry of narration, poetry, song and archival image to tell a haunting story that spans five generations.

The film is produced and directed by Paora Joseph, co-directed with his wife, artist Janine Martin and executive produced by Gaylene Preston.

Joseph says: “While it recounts days of darkness, Tātarakihi – The Children Of Parihaka carries a sense of restoration and hope, and I hope it enables continued dialogue for understanding and mutual respect of both Māori and Pākehā in the New Zealand we know today.

“It was important to include the Pakakohe travesty within the wider story of the Parihaka film because the intent for peace and goodwill in their surrender to the Crown following the land wars in 1869 was pure. Their subsequent arrest was a breach of natural lore and justice. The kaupapa of passive resistance from this time onwards, although firmly held at Parihaka by the prophets Te Whiti o Rongomai and Tohu Kākahi extended from North Taranaki to Whanganui. Had it not been for the Pakakohe people, the rate of land confiscation within South Taranaki would have increased significantly. A part of the film therefore pays tribute and honour to this hapu who were wrongfully arrested.

“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 Kākahi.”

Tickets are available from the South Taranaki i – SITE from Monday 8 October.

See trailer here:

Official website:

- ENDS –

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