Documentary portrait of pioneering filmmaker and mother Merata Mita, detailing how her filmmaking intersected with the lives of her children and indigenous filmmakers globally, and featuring rare archival footage dating back to 1977.
"No Going Out and No Boyfriends" - Hibiscus' obedience towards her Mum's rules is put to the test in her final year of University. As guys start to impress Hibiscus, she asks her childhood friend Ruth, to help keep her focused.
An artist has chosen a famous male actor for them together to deconstruct themselves and their invading roles. They engage in a boundless play with their surroundings in an exploration of identity, male and female.
A marvellous look into cultures - diverse yet drawn together by undeniable bonds - that all too seldom appear in film. Unfortunately, the storylines are sophomoric and the cinematography strictly by the book. There is a sense that the directors felt their artistic freedom constrained and were mostly phoning it in.
After a strong first vignette, the second is particularly weak, with inevitable walkouts - a pity because once the film passes through the more cringe-inducing phases of Vai's life and we meet her in middle age and as an elder, her strength finally begins to draw the film together. Seeing four generations of her family is particularly touching.
The film was promoted as "ambitious", and in some ways it is. However, if the directors had been given complete control over their vignettes (within the parameters broadly required for the overarching story), we could have seen a truly daring work.
Obvious parallels with Moana (1926). There are many stories to be told here. Let us hope this is not the last attempt to do so.
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