Living in Mt. Roskill, Auckland, Nana Maria struggles to get her grandchildren together for a traditional Fijian feast in which she means to name her successor as Matriarch. Film runs over about a 18 hour or so period of time. Written by
I went to school in Mt. Roskill, where the film is set; I drive through the suburb everyday to and from work; and my mother is from Polynesia. On several levels I could relate to this film and was proud to see Auckland, and it's Polynesian culture, represented in such an accurate and endearing way.
No. 2 centers around Nana Maria (a great performance by Ruby Dee), who wants her grandchildren to organize a feast for her at which she will name her heir, who will take over the house when she dies. Tense relationships both amongst and between generations are slowly and subtly introduced, and over the course of the day the family struggles to negotiate their Fijian culture within the New Zealand context.
The acting was superb (although notably, I think a minority of the actors were actually Fijian), the story subtle but beautiful, and Auckland was represented very accurately and stunningly. A feel-good film that makes you want to get in contact with your long lost cousins and reminisce about days gone by.
Great characters, great acting, and an enjoyable film.
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