Laughter in Waihau Bay
Taika Waititi’s Boy recently won the Best Feature Generation Film award at the International Filmfestspiele in Berlin. The festival’s website describes it by saying – “[Boy] is a film “with bold direction … tackl[ing] difficult subject matter not with preaching, sentimentality or self-pity but with humour, often treating tragedy and comedy simultaneously.” They continue, “because it’s so enjoyable it is easy to underestimate the depth of this film. It is a rich mix of ideas which strike and collide to create poetic moments that speak, despite the remote location, to all of us today.” In an interview with Rose Hoare of the Sunday Star Times magazine, Waititi, 34, said he wants Maori film to move away from the likes of Once Were Warriors, with its “big acting and melodramatic style”, and The Whale Rider. “Brilliant films, they do help to define who we are, but there are other ways as well. Like, there are no Maori comedies — and this isn’t even straight-out comedy — and I’m sure we’ve got a lot of room for them,” Waititi said. Together with Flight of the Conchords’ star Jemaine Clement collaborating as the Humourbeasts, the pair won the Billy T James award in 1999. Waititi’s first film, Two Cars, One Night, was nominated for an Oscar in 2005.