Director: Briar Grace-Smith, Katie Wolfe ('Kawa'), Casey Kaa, Ainsley Gardiner, Chelsea Cohen, Renae Maihi, Paula Jones, Awanui Simich-Pene
Cast: Tanea Heke, Roimata Fox, Ngapaki Moetara, Awhina-Rose Ashby, Maria Walker, Kararaina Rangihau, Acacia Hapi, Miriama McDowell, Amber Curreen
A sisterhood of Māori female directors bravely share their insights into the complexity of child abuse, in a sequence of eight short films which seamlessly become one. At the centre of their stories is Waru, a boy killed at the hands of a caregiver. His tangi, set on a small rural marae, is the centrepiece of the film, but there is an underlying disturbance of heavy themes touching on culture, custom and shame.
We see a single death through the differing lenses of the extended family, community, and in one sharp sequence, national media too. WARU weaves multiple reactions and offers a glimpse into the events which ensue upon the killing of a child and the conflict created among loved ones.
"A fascinating glimpse into New Zealand’s contemporary Maori community, WARU brings a sense of dramatic, urgent realism to a story that plays out like a suspenseful mystery." (Hollywood Reporter)
Runtime: 86 mins