Celebrate Te Reo All Year Round

Posted Monday 08 Jul 2013

New Zealand Film Tuakiri Huna (White Lies) is being celebrated for its use of Te Reo. Currently on release throughout the country, the film has significant te reo throughout.

Maori Language Commission Chief Executive Glenis Philip-Barbara says a simple way you and your wh?nau to be involved with Te Wiki o te Reo M?ori is to go to movies - it's that easy! Seeing Tuakiri Huna (White Lies) on the big screen is a great way to interact with te reo M?ori.

Tuakiri Huna (White Lies) is a story about the nature of identity: those who deny it and those who strive to protect it, based on the novella 'Medicine Woman' by one of the New Zealand's most prominent M?ori writers Witi Ihimaera.

"People won't know that the road to the use of te reo in Tuakiri Huna (White Lies) was actually laid over ten years ago with Whale Rider,"says Witi Ihimaera."When the film was being marketed, John [Barnett] said to me that he wished he had taken the opportunity to have more te reo in the film. Whale Rider the M?ori-language film boggles the imagination, doesn't it! Well, some eleven years later John, Dana and their M?ori advisers have done it with Tuakiri Huna (White Lies) And who knows? This may be the year when M?ori language in film goes international."

Tuakiri Huna (White Lies) sees Witi Ihimaera collaborating with Whale Rider Producer John Barnett again for the first time in 10 years. Barnett elaborates on the use of te reo in the film "This is a story set in a time and a place where the lead character and many of those around her only spoke te reo Maori. Apart from their interactions with P?keh? this is the world they inhabit. So the extensive usage of te reo in the film is essential as it takes us into that place and enables us to contrast the world of Te Urewera with the P?keh? world of the household where the story unfolds."

New Zealand M?ori recording artist Whirimako Black stars in her acting debut, alongside established local actresses Antonia Prebble (Outrageous Fortune, Blue Rose) and Rachel House (Boy, Whale Rider).  Whirimako says "One of the key things that made me feel more at ease with taking on this role was that I speak M?ori. It is my first language and more than 80 per cent of the film is in my language and my dialect. We're often told that the M?ori language is dying so for me to be able to present my language in an art form like this was a real privilege."

This film was made by South Pacific Pictures in association with the New Zealand Film Commission.

Visit www.whiteliesthemovie.com to find out more about the film and to find a glossary of M?ori terms used throughout the film.