This year’s New Zealand International Film Festival is lining up some pretty exciting releases and one of it’s most intriguing is Māui’s Hook, a new film from psychologist turned filmmaker Paora Joseph who examines the startling and tragic problem of suicide in contemporary New Zealand.
The brand new trailer has finally arrived and it is a must watch. Check it out below:
Defying categorization, Māui’s Hook uses a hybrid narrative genre of both contemporary drama and documentary to examine the stories of five families taking part in a unique hikoi wairua (spiritual journey) while grieving the suicide of a family member. The film also interweaves the fictional story of Tama (Niwa Whatuira), a young man undergoing a struggle with life and how the hikoi wairua affects his own life.
Joseph uses his experience and skill as a psychologist to create a film purpose-built to change attitudes and provoke action around youth suicide. As a psychologist he has worked with at-risk youth in South Auckland as well as in Taranaki and he appears in the film, conducting healing sessions with grieving families in the documentary backbone of the film, while also acting as a mentor to the distressed Tama as the drama threads.
Praise also needs to be heaped on rising talents Niwa Whatuira (Dark Horse, The Rehearsal) and newcomer Hera Foley for their committed performances and it’s clear that these characters will stay with you long after the credits begin to roll.
Māui’s Hook is filmmaking at its most confronting and it grapples with some very serious issues that are affecting contemporary New Zealand culture but I for one believe it is one of this year’s most important releases.
Māui’s Hook will have it’s world premiere on July 21 before screening at 10 other festival events throughout New Zealand.