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YFS Screenings & Events


Monday, February 5, 2018 at 8:30pm
Yukon Arts Centre

Made up of eight short films, each 10 minutes in length and directed by a different filmmaker, Waru is a formally unique and narratively ambitious endeavour. Each of these stories, presented as a continuous shot in real time, is an approach to the same traumatic event: the death of a young boy, Waru, at the hands of his caregiver.

Using as its departure point the tangi (funeral) of the small boy, the film takes the perspectives of eight different women, all of whom are connected in varying degrees to Waru’s family and community. Each vignette has a remarkable feeling of immediacy; taken together, the films affect like a thunderclap. A Pandora’s box of difficult questions — around responsibility, guilt, shame, and poverty — is opened. These stories do not only dwell in the dark moments, however. From the schoolroom to the community kitchen to a television studio, humour, warmth, pride, and courage provide textured insight into a complex society.

The first feature film made by Maori women in almost 30 years, and shot in only eight days (one day per short), Waru is not only an unconventional achievement in filmmaking, it is a remarkable tribute to the female eye, in particular, those of eight extraordinary Maori.

In English and Maori with English subtitles.

Introduction by ALFF 2018 guest curator, Jesse Wente.

  • Directed by Various
  • 2017, New Zealand
  • 86 minutes
  • Parental Guidance Advised

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