Talented Teen Enchants

Director Pietra Brettkelly’s documentary Maori Boy Genius, which premiered at this month’s Berlinale, tracks 16-year-old Tuhoe prodigy Ngaa Rauuira Pumanawawhiti as he attends summer school at Yale and applies to study there full-time. “Ngaa carries the expectations of his people to lead them out of horrific poverty, lack of education, gangs and prisons. His family went into debt just to sponsor the summer school,” Brettkelly says. “But he’s also a kid who laughs about girlfriends, or simply wants to hang out with his mates.” Variety reviewer Alissa Simon describes the star of the “inspiring” “low-key pic” as “charismatic” and “articulate”. “Brettkelly spices up the visuals with breathtaking shots of the Maori’s sacred ocean, forests and totems,” Simon writes. Brettkelly is best known for her 2008 documentary The Art Star and the Sudanese Twins.


Tags: Alissa Simon  Art Star (The)  Berlinale  Maori  Ngaa Rauuira Pumanawawhiti  Pietra Brettkelly  Sudanese Twins  Variety Magazine  Wall Street Journal (The)  Yale  

Musician Lachi McBride One to Watch

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