New Zealand

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2018: ‘I’ll Take Your Dead’ and ‘Mega Time Squad’

I’ll Take Your Dead (DIR. Chad Archibald) The multi-hyphen horror film is just a concept that is here to stay.  Despite everything being a hyphenated genre lately, very few films actually know how to do it well.  The issue is that these films are often so lost in their own muddled genres, that they forget to specialize in one.  Very rarely can someone pull off an actually balanced hyphenated genre film, leading to practical magic when…

Festival Coverage

Hot Docs 2017: ‘Birth of a Family’ and ‘Pecking Order’

Birth of a Family (DIR. Tasha Hubbard) Birth of a Family follows four siblings, three sisters and a brother, who were taken from their mother and placed in separate families during the “sixties scoop” – a period of three decades in Canada that saw tens of thousands of indigenous children removed from their homes and sent to live with non-indigenous families throughout North America.  Now middle aged, the siblings meet for the first time and attempt…


The Dead Lands

By: Mark Barber The Dead Lands is a rare pre-colonial narrative.  Rarely does a film provide a cinematic lens through which we may see a pre-westernized, pre-colonial native culture.  Given such emancipating opportunities, it’s curious that director Toa Fraser would make such a comfortable film for western audiences. Featuring an all-Maori (people indigenous to New Zealand) cast, young Hongi (James Rolleston) seeks revenge on a rival tribe that eradicated his people.  To do so, he…