New Zealand, 2013, 96 Minute Running Time
Topics: History, Woman Director, Women
Program: Awards Buzz : Best Foreign Language Film
Language: Maori English Sub-Titles
Based on a novella by Witi Ihimaera (Whale Rider), this is the sober story of a Maori healer, Paraiti, facing a difficult ethical dilemma. Set in beautiful Ruatahuna, in 1929, and written and directed by Mexican-born Dana Rotberg (who moved to New Zealand 10 years ago, shortly after seeing Whale Rider), the film is an intimate, intense examination of the legacy of racial discrimination that left both physical and metaphorical scars on the native Maoris.
Paraiti – affectionately known as “Scarface” to her friends – is on her way to watch a Chaplin movie in town when she is intercepted by the formidable housekeeper (Rachel House) of a wealthy white woman. Her mistress is six months pregnant and desperate to abort before her husband returns from abroad – but none of the colonial doctors will oblige. Paraiti (singer-songwriter Whirimako Black) has her own scruples about ending a life, but she is drawn into a traumatic confrontation with the white woman and her overbearing servant.
Beautifully shot and featuring large portions in the te reo Maori dialect, White Lies is New Zealand`s submission for Best Foreign Language film.
DIRECTOR: Dana Rotberg
Producer: John Barnett
Editor: Paul Sutorius
Screenwriter: Dana Rotberg
Cinematographer: Alun Bollinger
Music: John Psathas
Principal Cast: Whirimako Black
Te Waimarie Kessell
Filmography: Otilia Rauda (2001)
Angel of Fire (1992)
Print Source: Film Sales Company
Official Film Website