Merata: How Mum Decolonised the Screen


TIFF Bell Lightbox 2 Fri, Apr 26, 2019 3:30 PM
Scotiabank Theatre 3 Sun, Apr 28, 2019 12:00 PM
TIFF Bell Lightbox 4 Sun, May 5, 2019 11:45 AM
Film Info
Country Listing:New Zealand
Premiere Status:Canadian Premiere
Festival Info
Festival Year:2019
Program Category:Artscapes
Film Subjects:Families & Family Relationships
Filmmakers & Filmmaking
Indigenous Cultures & Issues
Women Trailblazers & Rule Breakers
Cast/Crew Info
Director(s):Hepi Mita
Producer(s):Chelsea Winstanley
Executive Producer(s):Cliff Curtis
Editor(s):Te Rurehe Paki
Writer(s):Hepi Mita
Cinematography:Mike Jonathon
Composer:Tama Waipara


Pioneering Maori filmmaker and activist Merata Mita was arguably one of the most influential women in Indigenous filmmaking, helping to raise the visibility and voices of Maori and of women. Despite her sudden and tragic passing in 2010 at the age of 68, her powerful presence is still felt in the world of cinema. Through seminal works in the 1970s and '80s such as Maori Women in a Pakeha World, Bastion Point: Day 507 and Patu!, she fearlessly addressed the issues and effects of colonialism on both the Maori people and Maori women specifically. In this deeply personal and moving portrait of her life's work, Merata's youngest son, director and archivist Hepi Mita, collaborates with his siblings to weave together her archives with interviews from some of cinema's most influential people, including Alanis Obomsawin and Taika Waititi. The result is a stunning work that beautifully honours Merata's lasting impact and legacy. Heather Haynes

Additional Information

  • NOW - 4 Stars, "Loving portrait...a must-see."
  • POV - "Pays tribute to the filmmaker's significant legacy while called for greater diversity in cinema."