Berlinale: Programme


Film File

NATIVe - Indigenous Cinema

Merata: How Mum Decolonised the Screen

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As the archivist of Merata Mita’s work, her youngest son Hepi Mita embarks on a journey through his mother’s life. Creating a dialogue between her work as a filmmaker and her personal life, his unique excavation reveals how deeply connected the personal, the political, and the creative were for the late Merata Mita (1942–2010). The first female Maori director’s career began in the 1970s with the observational documentaries Bastion Point: Day 507 and Patu!. Her debut fiction film Mauri (1988) was not only the first film to be made by a Maori woman, it was also the first feature film ever to be made by an Indigenous woman anywhere in the world. Interweaving a wealth of archive footage with extracts from her interviews, as well as her children’s memories, Merata’s personal story - of being Maori, a woman, a mother and a filmmaker in Aotearoa - speaks to the wider experiences and universal struggles that are still being faced by Indigenous filmmakers everywhere in the world today. This documentary does not only shed light on a resilient woman who fought for her goal to ‘indigenise the screen’ - it also reveals the strain this kind of political work was to have on her family.

by
Hepi Mita

New Zealand 2018

English

Documentary form
87’ · Colour

Crew

Director
Hepi Mita
Director of Photography
Mike Jonathon
Editing
Te Rurehe Paki
Production Manager
Elise Francis
Producer
Chelsea Winstanley
Executive Producer
Cliff Curtis

Biography

Hepi Mita

Merata: How Mum Decolonised the Screen is director Hepi Mita's debut film. It premiered at the 2018 New Zealand International Film Festival in Auckland.

Filmography

2018 Merata: How Mum Decolonised the Screen

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2019

Produced by

Ārama Pictures