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Eight female Māori directors worked together to produce this portmanteau film which offers a fascinating insight into Māori culture. The film comprises 8 x 10 minute segments, presented as a continuous shot in real time, unfolding around the funeral of a small boy who died at the hands of his caregiver. Waru means 8 in Māori. 

The vignettes are all subtly interlinked, each following one of eight female Māori lead characters as they come to terms with Waru’s death and try to find a way forward in their community.

Charm, Queen of the Kitchen – Charm learns to accept that she can’t change the world.

Anahera – A teacher struggles to keep face, hiding infidelities and guilt over Waru’s death.

Mihi – A solo parent learns to listen to her children.

Em – A young woman hits rock bottom and realises that the only way is up.

Ranui – A kuia relinquishes Iwi pride in order that her mokopuna might find spiritual peace.

Kiritapu – A young wahine Māori reporter risks everything to set the story straight.

Mere – A teenage girl draws strength from her ancestors to expose her abuser.

Titty & Bash – A woman risks life to break the cycle of violence

Part of Aperture: Asia & Pacific Film Festival a new UK-wide film festival dedicated to screening some of the boldest, most daring, challenging, and striking films from the Asian and Pacific regions. The festival focuses particularly on underrepresented cinemas, from Azerbaijan to Vanuatu and everything in between.


Film Information

Running Time: 1hr 28mins

BBFC Advice: TBC

Director(s): Ainsley Gardiner, Awanui Simich-Pene, Briar Grace-Smith, Casey Kaa, Chelsea Cohen, Katie Wolfe, Paula Jones & Renae Maihi,

Country of Origin: New Zealand

Year of release:

Language(s): In English and Maori with English subtitles

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