Mauri DVD

Mauri - 1988

Awatea Films - 96 min.

DVD UPC/EAN # 9418212011232

Cast: Anzac Wallace, Eva Rickard, James Heyward, Susan D. Ramari Paul, Sonny Waru, Rangimarie Delamere, Willie Raana, Geoff Murphy, Don Selwyn, Temuera Morrison.
Production Designer: Ralph Hotere; Photography: Graeme Cowley; Editor: Nicholas Beauman; Musical Director: Hirini Melbourne; Original Music and Performance by: Amokura; Wardrobe supervisor: Rangitinia Otene Wilson; Special Effects: Richard Rautjoki;
Written, produced and directed by: Merata Mita

Rewi returns to a small country town (Te Kaha). He is deeply troubled by something mysterious in his past. He cannot bring himself to form a relationship with the woman he loves, even though his feelings are reciprocated. The truth is that Rewi is not who he pretends to be. He had been involved in serious crime, but had escaped. He had picked up a hitchhiker, the real Rewi, and after a car accident had resulted in the death of the hitchhiker, took over his identity. He is pursued by the ghost of the dead man. Mauri was the first full-length feature to be made by a Maori woman, and the first entirely from a Maori perspective. Beautiful cinematography with a soundtrack that uses traditional Maori instruments.

Censor Rating: G - Review Rating: C+

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Although it was available on pal vhs, it has been OOP for many years. There are no NTSC versions. As of 25 August, 2010, it is available on R0 PAL DVD, from NZ sources, for $10-15nz. It is presented in its original 1.33:1 format with a 2.0 stereo English soundtrack. There are no subtitles or extras.

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Alice in Videoland of Christchurch has rental copies available for New Zealand addresses


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Hal Erickson Synopsis

"It was a collection of experiences over about 40 years in which there seemed to be this conflict situation in Maori society which was increasing rather than diminishing. And that there seems to be no resolution to it within the confines of society as it is today. And that given that set of circumstances there had to be some kind of opening there, some kind of resolution so that the conflict situation could be resolved without violence and that's what I was looking at in the film trying to find that pathway that would lead to resolution without violence" - (Merata Mita interviewed by Paul Casserly, "The Journey", Monitor, October 1989)

"There's a raw, edgy power at work in Mauri which overrides its technical deficiencies [...] Mauri is an emotionally charged piece of cinema. Mita successfully infuses the notion of spirituality that comes from both the people of the land and the land itself, without slipping into vague mumbo- jumbo. The term Mauri translates roughly to 'life force'. Mauri has a mauri of its own" - ("Mauri kindles spark", Auckland Star, September 28, 1989)


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North & South Review by Brian McDonnell - October 1988 - For details or copies contact Kakapo Books

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