7.0/10
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2 user 9 critic

Vai (2019)

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A portmanteau feature film by 9 female Pacific filmmakers and filmed on seven Pacific islands. It is about the journey of empowerment through culture over the lifetime of one woman, Vai.

Writers:

Becs Arahanga (Writer), Amberley Jo Aumua (Writer) | 7 more credits »
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1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Ro Mereani Adi Tuimatanisiga ... Vai of Fiji
Ar-Ramadi Longopoa Ar-Ramadi Longopoa ... Vai of Tonga
Betsy Lania Luitolo ... Vai of the Solomon Islands
Agnes Pele Agnes Pele ... Vai of NZ Samoa
Evotia-Rose Araiti ... Vai of Kuki Airani
Fiona Collins ... Vai of Samoa
Maliaga Erick Maliaga Erick ... Vai of Niue
Hinetu Dell Hinetu Dell ... Vai of Aotearoa
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ateca Ravuvu ... Lutia (Tia / Mum)
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Storyline

A portmanteau feature film by 9 female Pacific filmmakers and filmed on seven Pacific islands. It is about the journey of empowerment through culture over the lifetime of one woman, Vai.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

journey | See All (1) »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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User Reviews

 
Promising ethnofiction, disappointing filmmaking
15 August 2019 | by pmj-8See all my reviews

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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Details

Country:

New Zealand

Language:

English | Samoan | Maori | Tonga

Release Date:

27 August 2019 (USA) See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$88,402
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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