Reviews - Waru
Reviewed By Roger Gook
If you have not read any pre-publicity, you are in dark about the starting point of the child's death, as it is never explicitly dealt with and this vital clue is missing. The producer gave the eight directors a very tight brief, presumably to give some cohesion, but in so doing took away all creative freedom. The directors were from the Maori community, giving the films insight and rawness, but I suspect they were not very experienced. One wonders how the project started – did the producer have the idea and then seek out the directors, or did the eight directors develop the project themselves. The film certainly has the feeling of being made by committee, or made as a community project.
The stories have passion and are told with great feeling. There is a lot of anger directed at the male members of the community for their lack of engagement and dissolute lifestyle. The women suffer abuse and neglect, have limited power, but are the ones who keep the community running – a universal story and one that needs telling, but unfortunately not by this film.
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Keswick Film Club won the Best New Film Society at the British Federation Of Film Societies awards in 2000.
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