A medicine woman - a giver of life - is asked to hide a secret which may protect one life but which will destroy another.

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3 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Whirimako Black ...
Paraiti
...
Maraea
...
Rebecca
Nancy Brunning ...
Horiana
Te Waimarie Kessell ...
Aroha
Kohuorangi Ta Whara ...
Wirepa
...
Hospital Matron
Te Ahurei Rakuraku ...
Young Paraiti
Tahuri o te Rangi Trainor Tait ...
Paraiti's Grandfather
...
Soldier
Rawiri Waiariki ...
Horiana's Grandchild
Te Whenua Te Kurapa ...
Pirimahana
Tangiroa Tawhara ...
Woman With Bad Leg
Vanessa Paraki ...
Limping Girl
...
Chemist
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Storyline

White Lies is a story about the nature of identity: those who deny it and those who strive to protect it. Paraiti (Whirimako Black) is a medicine woman. She is the healer and midwife of her rural, tribal people - she believes in life. But new laws are in force prohibiting unlicensed healers. On a rare trip to the city, she is approached by Maraea (Rachel House), the servant of a wealthy woman, Rebecca (Antonia Prebble), who seeks her knowledge and assistance in order to hide a secret which could destroy Rebecca's position in European settler society. If the secret is uncovered a life may be lost, but hiding it may also have fatal consequences. So Paraiti, Maraea and Rebecca become players in a head on clash of beliefs, deception and ultimate salvation. Written by South Pacific Pictures

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Redemption comes at a price.

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Drama

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Release Date:

28 November 2013 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

The Medicine Woman  »

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Trivia

Official submission of New Zealand to the Oscars 2014 best foreign language film category. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Superb Film
16 November 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This was a superb film highlighting the clash of cultures and the ramifications resulting therefrom. In this case, it is a clash between traditional Maori and English colonial cultures. What is the value of culture and what is the price of conformity?

It is a well-developed movie. The acting was very good. The characterization was rigid and predictable based upon a viewer's initial observation of the characters and their respective roles, which actually enhanced the maintenance of the secret until late in the movie. Clues are provided that almost reach the level of red-herrings, but they are real clues with multiple interpretations that become clear as the movie progresses. All is not as it originally seems.

I happened to be on an Air New Zealand flight that offered a selection of New Zealand-made films or I probably never would have had the opportunity to see this excellent film. If I had a vote, it would get my vote for best foreign film.


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