WHINA

North American Premiere


TRAILBLAZERS | MIND THE GAP | WORLD

New Zealand 2021, 112 min, Directors: James Napier Robertson, Paula Whetu Jones

This inspirational film reveals the extraordinary life of New Zealand’s Dame Whina Cooper, a courageous Māori woman whose lifelong activism on behalf of her people ranks her among the most influential proponents of nonviolent civil disobedience in the 20th century, on par with Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. Directors James Napier Robertson and Paula Whetu Jones’ biographical drama explores the complex personal and political life of a community activist who would come to be known as “Te Whāea-o-te-Motu” or “Mother of the Nation.” Embodying such a heroic individual is no easy task, but three actors rise to the challenge of portraying Whina, including the iconic Rena Owen (Once Were Warriors), Tioreore Ngatai-Melbourne (Hunt for the Wilderpeople), and the amazing Miriama McDowell, who commands the screen as Cooper in her middle years. Whina passionately recounts an essential chapter of national history, and will leave you wanting to tell everyone you know about this phenomenal individual. —Bri’anna Moore

In English and Māori with English subtitles

VIEW TRAILER



Showtimes

In-Person


12:00 PM — Rafael 2

1:00 PM — Lark Theater

Director

Wellington, New Zealand native James Napier Robertson started out as an actor before forging a career as a writer and director. After making a handful of shorts, he debuted his first feature, I’M NOT HARRY JESSON, in 2009. His second feature, THE DARK HORSE (2014), garnered six New Zealand Film and TV Awards, including Best Film, Best Director, and Best Screenplay for a Feature Film. Paula Whetu Jones’s GANG GIRLS (2003) won a Qantas Media Award for Best Documentary and captured three New Zealand Television Awards nominations. She was one of eight female Mᾱori filmmakers to contribute a vignette to WARU (2017), winning several awards including a New Zealand Writers Guild prize for Best Feature Film Script. She also co-wrote and directed a VOD series, I DATE REJECTS (2020).

Film Info

countries:

Year:

2021

Running Time:

112

Languages:

English, Māori

Director:

James Napier Robertson, Paula Whetu Jones

Producers:

Matthew Metcalfe, Tainui Stephens

Cinematographers:

Leon Narbey

Editors:

Chris Plummer

Writers:

James Lucas, Paula Whetu Jones, James Napier Robertson

Cast:

Rena Owen, Miriama McDowell, Vinnie Bennett, James Rolleston

sections:

Subtitles:

English