5.5/10
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6 user 3 critic

The Last Saint (2014)

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Minka is a teenage Polynesian boy living in the heart of the city. With his P-addicted mother well on the way to going completely off the rails, three people enter his life - each with a promise - each with the power to destroy.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Minka
... Joe
... Pinball
... Tiger
Joy Vaele ... Lia
... Spanner
Sophia Huybens ... Zoey
... Gaz
Saia Folau ... Feleti
... Tui
Jane Matthews ... Miss Woods
Taren Cunningham ... Candy
... Danger
Fine Kupu ... Kepu
Mariska Schoeman ... Showgirl
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Storyline

Minka is a teenage Polynesian boy living in the heart of the city. With his P-addicted mother well on the way to going completely off the rails, three people enter his life - each with a promise - each with the power to destroy.

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Sometime doing right means doing wrong

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Action | Crime | Drama

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28 August 2014 (New Zealand)  »

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Intense "Coming of Age" Drama
29 November 2015 | by See all my reviews

Minka lives in a home where his mother obviously loves him, but who suffers from emotional and mental disorders due to PTSD and intergenerational trauma. She has long attempted to self-medicate through substance abuse, triggering episodes where she terrorized and abused her son leaving him traumatized as well. Like many children in such homes, however, he is deeply devoted to her, serving as a keeper, a parent, his childhood lost through having to take care of both her and himself, a lonely existence.

When his long absent father Joe returns offering him work, his mother having used all their funds on drugs, Minka accepts, not knowing what it really involves. Soon, the reality of the 'requirements' hits hard, leaving Minka between the proverbial 'rock and a hard place'. While he might gain a sense of belonging through the gang and attempts at 'normalizing the family, the 'live skills' Joe attempts to teach him and the casual, terrible violence and aggression often involved makes him question where will it all end. When tragedy occurs, Minka finds the answer for himself.

An emotional, intense "coming of age" drama that pointedly looks into the complexities and complications of life as a minority, but which anyone might suffer: that even as a youth, you are more often required to make brutal adult choices when all you want is a life like anyone else. A movie about the substitutions one makes when basic life needs are absent: the freedom to have a childhood, a nurturing home and regard as a human being simply wanting to belong and be loved.

The film was very hard to watch at times because it brought up memories of growing up, of seeing people and places like this, so it is authentic in that, and brilliantly acted by young Beulah Koale.


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