Laughing at the edge
Director Taika Waititi says the humour in Boy is both colonial-outpost and self-deprecating Maori humour. “You’ve just got to laugh at awkward, crazy, painful stuff when you’ve been banished to the nether regions of the globe,” Waititi says. “Maori humour is more true to life to see humour among really upsetting situations — laughing and crying at the same time — dealing with things by trying to see the flip-side.” The Americans didn’t get it. The further you get away from New Zealand, the less funny it seems, Waititi says of Boy. “When we screened it in Germany, they took it totally seriously. The Americans were the worst: ‘Oh those poor children!’” Boy won the audience award for a fiction feature at the Sydney Film Festival in June. Waititi is recently back from New Orleans, where he was cast as best friend of the super hero in Warner Bros’ Green Lantern.