Kawariki must become the leader of the family after his father retires in this intimate drama. A husband and father, he realizes that in order to lead with integrity, he must come out and be honest about his own life, even though it will test the boundaries of acceptance and unconditional love. Offering valuable insights into Maori traditions, family ideals and cultural values, this feature debut is rich and textured with emotional layers and stunning New Zealand landscapes. Written by
I'm genuinely glad there are niche movies like Kawa for the people who need them, gay men from profoundly gay-hostile, tradition- and family-worshiping cultures. But all this movie does for me is make me extremely grateful that my own background is northern European, where the individual is more important than the family, the object of child-rearing is independence from the parents, not bondage to them forever, and men are not expected to stomp, thump their chests, and grunt in unison at birthday parties.
This movie is even more alien to me than a heterosexual romance. I found the melodrama unbearably tedious and the behavior of every person in the movie preposterous. I'm glad it's here for the men who can identify with it and be encouraged by it, but I'm not one of them.
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