Ngati

  • 1987
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

A young Australian just out of medical school is sent on a world tour by his father, on the condition that he first visit the tiny New Zealand village where he was born and where his mother died. There he quickly grows to like the mostly Maori population, which immediately take to him as one of their own. He soon learns that he is one of their own, his...read more

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A young Australian just out of medical school is sent on a world tour by his father, on the condition that he first visit the tiny New Zealand village where he was born and where his mother died. There he quickly grows to like the mostly Maori population, which immediately take to him as

one of their own. He soon learns that he is one of their own, his late mother having been a Maori. Meanwhile, the local meat-freezing plant is going to be shut down and a young boy is dying of leukemia, beyond the help of either Western or Maori medicine. The boy dies, the villagers come together

to take over the freezing plant themselves, and the young doctor decides to make the tiny village his home. A simple film that is more concerned with detailing the ways in which Maori society works than with thrilling its audience, it still manages to become a rather effective work. This was the

first movie directed and written by Maoris, and it became a surprise success at Cannes and other festivals. The producers trained a group of Maoris in the filmmaking crafts. They became the core crew for the picture and enlisted the aid of an entire community in the production. The evocation of

the slow-paced life in a small coastal village in the late 1940s is beautiful, and the Maori life it shows, full of close family ties and frequent feasts, is the best ever seen in a feature (see UTU [1984] for a Western perspective on the Maoris). The performances vary wildly in their

quality--evidence of the largely amateur cast--but the movie has some undeniable moments of power and more than a few laughs.

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  • Released: 1987
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: A young Australian just out of medical school is sent on a world tour by his father, on the condition that he first visit the tiny New Zealand village where he was born and where his mother died. There he quickly grows to like the mostly Maori population,… (more)

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