White Lies - Tuakiri Huna
Director Dana Rotberg
Producer John Barnett, Chris Hampson
Editor Paul Satorius
Screenplay Dana Rotberg, Witi Ihimaera
A medicine woman - a giver of life - is asked to hide a secret which may protect one life but which will destroy another. Based on the novella ‘Medicine Woman’ by Witi Ihimaera White Lies - Tuakiri Huna is a story about the nature of identity - those who deny it and those who strive to protect it.
Paraiti is a medicine woman. She is the healer and midwife of her rural, tribal people – she believes in life. But new laws are in force prohibiting unlicensed healers. On a rare trip to the city, she is approached by Maraea, the servant of Rebecca, a wealthy woman, who seeks her knowledge and assistance in order to hide a secret which will destroy Rebecca’s position in European settler society. If the secret is uncovered a life may be lost, but hiding it may also have fatal consequences so Paraiti, Maraea and Rebecca become players in a head on clash of beliefs, deception and ultimate salvation.
Festival/Awards: Toronto International Film Festival (Canada). - New Zealand Film Commission; www.nzfilm.co.nz/film/white-lies; 30/05/2014.
This Matariki screening is in support of the exhibition “Wāhine: Beyond the Dusky Maiden” at Turnbull Gallery , 6 June-25 August, 2017.