26 July

POWER IN THE COLLECTIVE: THE KEY WORKS OF MERATA MITA

As a key campaigner for Māori creative control in the film industry, Merata Mita (1941–2010) was the force behind an expansive body of work including the first fiction feature to be written and directed by a woman in Aotearoa New Zealand: Mauri (1988). As director, producer, writer and actor, Mita’s ground-breaking influence on the film and television industries in Aotearoa New Zealand from the 1970s onwards cannot be overstated. In the latter part of her career and life, Mita directed Hotere (2001), an impressionistic feature-length portrait of one of the country’s most important artists, and was a producer behind Taika Waititi’s Boy (2010). She was also the subject of her son’s celebrated documentary, Merata: How Mum Decolonised the Screen (Hepi Mita, 2018). While her films often screened internationally in the years immediately after their completion, they had been increasingly difficult to see in cinemas prior to a series of recent restorations. This special one-night focus features three of Mita’s most striking, urgent and important works of fiction and documentary covering the crucial period of the 1980s.

Wednesday 26 July

7:00pm PATU!
Merata Mita (1983) 112 mins – PG

Mita’s ground-breaking documentary, completed over a period of two years, details the controversy raised by the 1981 South African Springbok tour to New Zealand. A scathing critique of Prime Minister Robert “Piggy” Muldoon’s decision to allow the tour to take place, Mita evokes a deep sense of historical significance, examining the attitudes and conduct of politicians, general citizens, rugby union management and players of the two teams, alongside the fiery and widespread clashes between HART anti-apartheid and pro-tour protesters.

Preserved and made available by Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision. Courtesy of Mita Estate.


9:10pm MAURI
Merata Mita (1988) 101 mins – MA 15+

In her first fiction feature – the first by a Māori woman in Aotearoa New Zealand – Mita further interrogates the cultural tensions wrought by colonisation. Anzac Wallace gives a strong performance as Rewi Rapana, who returns home to his once thriving settlement, Te Mata, and befriends local woman Kara (activist Eva Rickard in one of two film roles). With production design by artist Ralph Hotere, and featuring Geoff Murphy and Temuera Morrison.

Film courtesy of Te Tumu Whakaata Taonga New Zealand Film Commission.

Preceded by Bastion Point: Day 507 Merata Mita, Leon Narbey and Gerd Pohlmann (1980) 27 mins – G. Focuses on day 507 of the Ngāti Whātau Ōrākei tribe’s protest for land rights as they are forcibly evicted from their traditional home of Takaparawhau (Bastion Point) in Auckland.

Preserved and made available by Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision. Courtesy of Mita Estate.

CTEQ ANNOTATION
Of What is Merata Mita/Mauri the Name?
by Simon Sigley

7 February
OPENING NIGHT 2024

7 February – 21 February
FROM THE BOULEVARDS OF PARIS TO THE DOCKS OF CHERBOURG: LANDMARKS OF THE FRENCH FILM MUSICAL

28 February – 13 March
"LIVING MAY BE TRAGIC, BUT LIFE ISN'T": THE FILMS OF THE TAVIANI BROTHERS

20 March – 3 April
IN THE AFTERGLOW: THE MERCURIAL STARDOM OF GLORIA GRAHAME

Wednesday 10 April
MAN OF THE CINEMA: A TRIBUTE TO JOHN FLAUS AT 90

17 April – 1 May
KEEP ROLLING: ANN HUI'S COUNTER-CINEMA

8 May – 22 May
"ALL ART IS ONE": THE VISIONARY CINEMA OF MICHAEL POWELL AND EMERIC PRESSBURGER

29 May – 12 June
WRITING WITH HER EYES: SUSO CECCHI D'AMICO, SCREENWRITER AS OBSERVER

19 June – 3 July
THE HOUSE THAT MOHSEN BUILT: THE FILMS OF SAMIRA MAKHMALBAF, MARZIEH MESHKINI AND MOHSEN MAKHMALBAF

10 July – 24 July
THE PAIN OF LIVING: JEAN EUSTACHE, BEING CINEMA

Wednesday 31 July
BETWEEN THE WAVE AND REVOLUTION: THE RETURN OF RIVETTE’S LEGENDARY L’AMOUR FOU

4–18 September
BLIND BEASTS, RED ANGELS AND HOODLUM SOLDIERS: THE IRRESISTIBLE CINEMA OF YASUZO MASUMURA

25 September – 9 October
JIŘÍ MENZEL: MAKING COMEDIES IS NO FUN

16–23 October
OF MEN AND MONSTERS: THE CINEMA OF NIKOS KOUNDOUROS

Wednesday 30 October
CONTESTED HISTORIES: THE DOCUMENTARIES OF JENI THORNLEY

6–20 November
THE FIRST AND LAST OF ENGLAND: THE QUEER LEGACIES OF DEREK JARMAN

Wednesday 27 November
PARADING THE PAST: RECENT ERNST LUBITSCH RESTORATIONS

4–11 December
THE SEEDS OF CHANGE: THE DOCUMENTARIES OF TOM ZUBRYCKI

Wednesday 18 December
CARLTON AND BEYOND: THE MELBOURNE UNIVERSITY FILM SOCIETY IN THE 1960s