1 user 6 critic
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.
2 nominations. See more awards »


Learn more

More Like This 

Daffodils I (2019)
Biography | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A bittersweet love story told with beautiful re-imaginings of iconic New Zealand songs.

Director: David Stubbs
Stars: Rose McIver, George Mason, Kimbra
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Lola controls her personal life with the same ruthless efficiency she uses to optimize profits in her job as a business consultant. But when a tragic event forces the past back into her life, Lola's grip on reality seems to slips away.

Director: Marie Kreutzer
Stars: Valerie Pachner, Pia Hierzegger, Mavie Hörbiger
Waru (2017)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A powerful and challenging story surrounding the tangi (funeral) of a small boy Waru who dies at the hands of his caregiver and how the boys death impacts the community.

Directors: Ainsley Gardiner, Casey Kaa, and 6 more credits »
Stars: Awahina Rose Ashby, Jonny Brugh, Amber Cureen
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

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.

Director: Hepi Mita
Stars: Awatea Mita, Eruera 'Bob' Mita, Hepi Mita
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A Macedonian woman throws herself into a traditionally men-only ceremony, kicking up a ruckus and standing her ground.

Director: Teona Strugar Mitevska
Stars: Zorica Nusheva, Labina Mitevska, Stefan Vujisic
The Chaperone (2018)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In the early 1920s, a Kansas woman finds her life forever changed when she accompanies a young dancer on her fame-seeking journey to New York City.

Director: Michael Engler
Stars: Haley Lu Richardson, Miranda Otto, Elizabeth McGovern
The Nightingale I (2018)
Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Set in 1825, Clare, a young Irish convict woman, chases a British officer through the rugged Tasmanian wilderness, bent on revenge for a terrible act of violence he committed against her family. On the way she enlists the services of an Aboriginal tracker named Billy, who is also marked by trauma from his own violence-filled past.

Director: Jennifer Kent
Stars: Sam Claflin, Damon Herriman, Aisling Franciosi
Divine Love (2019)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A woman who uses her bureaucratic job to convince divorcing couples to stay together is utterly committed to getting pregnant by her husband, in a future of dance parties, ritualistic orgies and fundamentalist Christianity.

Director: Gabriel Mascaro
Stars: Dira Paes, Julio Machado, Teca Pereira
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Lauren and Ned are engaged, they are in love, and they have just ten days to find Lauren's mother who has gone AWOL somewhere in the remote far north of Australia, reunite her parents and pull off their dream wedding.

Director: Wayne Blair
Stars: Gwilym Lee, Alan Rickman, Kerry Fox
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

On her wild quest for love, 9-year-old Benni's untamed energy drives everyone around her to despair.

Director: Nora Fingscheidt
Stars: Helena Zengel, Albrecht Schuch, Gabriela Maria Schmeide
The Last Suit (2017)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Abraham Bursztein, an 88 year-old Jewish tailor, runs away from Buenos Aires to Poland, where he proposes to find a friend who saved him from certain death at the end of World War II. After... See full summary »

Director: Pablo Solarz
Stars: Miguel Ángel Solá, Ángela Molina, Martín Piroyansky
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A woman living in New York takes control of her life- one block at a time.

Director: Paul Downs Colaizzo
Stars: Jillian Bell, Jennifer Dundas, Patch Darragh


Cast overview:
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


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



Parents Guide:

View content advisory »



New Zealand


English | Samoan | Maori | Tonga

Release Date:

4 April 2019 (New Zealand) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A stunning odyssey about identity
14 May 2019 | by Jesse_UngSee all my reviews

In their follow up to 2017's Waru, Kerry Warkia and Kiel McNaughton have gathered a small army of incredible female Pasifika filmmakers for Vai - an emotionally profound piece of work that is unlike anything I've ever seen onscreen.

Told in what is essentially eight vignettes, Vai explores the various stages in which Vai comes of age - as a young girl to a young woman to an elder. Each vignette features a different version, so to speak, of Vai - as she exists in different times and different Pacific Islands. If this sounds unwieldy, I assure you it isn't - each vignette flows beautifully into the next and each narrative is succinct and precise.

The film is beautiful to look at. Drew Sturge, the film's director of photography, beautifully captures the different textures that the setting of each vignette offers. From the deep blues of the sea in Fiji to the pale browns of a small Tongan village to the lush greens of Samoa. These places feel absolutely alive. Much like Waru, much of each vignette is presented in one continuous take. Although there are a few instances where the film deviates from this choice, it never calls attention to itself. Also of note is Lauren King's mesmerizing score. Used only sparingly throughout but effectively and never intrusively. Performances are exceptional across the board, young and old, each of the actresses brings an exceptional level of nuance and heart to Vai as well as making her their own in each of their respective vignettes.

I would say this is the best film I've seen so far this year, and a film I would dare compare to Richard Linklater's Boyhood or Barry Jenkins' Moonlight. It is such a profound character study and also a deep dive into identity and the relationship between identity and our culture. How much our own identities are formed by our culture, the places we live and the places we came from. Each vignette explores a specifically different Pasifika identity, and in doing so highlights the value of ancestry and cultural heritage to one's own identity, in a way that I can't say I've seen in a film before. Vai, no matter where, how, or at what age she exists in time, is shaped by those who came before her and where they came from.

I found myself profoundly moved by Vai, and left the cinema invigorated in a way that I hadn't been coming out of a film in a while. This is a film that makes me proud of our industry, and motivated as a filmmaker.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See one user review »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed