Sun Oct 30, 4:30 PM
Director: James Napier Robertson, Paula Whetu Jones
New Zealand
112 minutes

The sweeping biopic of iconic Maori elder and activist, Whina Cooper.

This rousing biopic turned historical epic tracks the life of a remarkable woman as she fights for social change over the course of a century. Dame Whina Cooper ONZ DBE(played over the decades by Tioreore Ngatai-Melbourne, Miriama McDowell and Rena Owen) was born in 1895 and within memory of the Land Wars where the British Crown seized back millions of acres despite the Treaty of Waitangi. During her remarkable life, Whina crashed through cultural and gender barriers with her work culminating in leading, at age eighty, a historic march of over 600km by the Northern Tribes to parliament house to reclaim their land and identity. Whina is an immaculately detailed portrait on a broad canvas of Te Whāea-o-te-motu, the “Mother of the Nation.”

“Whina is a triumph…soaring, heartful” (flicks.co.nz)

“Directors James Napier Robertson and Paula Whetu Jones coax great performances from all their cast, but the absolute stars here will always be Miriama McDowell and Rena Owen, playing Whina as a grown and elderly woman respectively.” (stuff.co.nz)

Feature Fiction Competition sponsored by

Program Strand Feature Fiction Competition
Language English, Maori
Subtitles English
Director James Napier Robertson, Paula Whetu Jones
Producer Matthew Metcalfe, Tainui Stephens
Writer James Napier Robertson, Paula Whetu Jones, James Lucas
Cast Rena Owen, Miriama McDowell, Vinnie Bennett
Genre Biographical, Drama