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Based on a novel by Whale Rider writer Witi Ihimaera, White Lies - New Zealand’s entry in the 2014 Oscar competition for best foreign-language film - is an intense drama that explores with great humanity and sensitivity such difficult topics as race relations, skin bleaching and abortion.
Paraiti is the healer and midwife of her rural people - she believes in life. But new laws in force are prohibiting unlicensed healers, making the practice of much Maori medicine illegal. She gets approached by Maraea, the servant of a wealthy woman, Rebecca, who seeks her knowledge and assistance in order to hide a secret which could destroy Rebecca’s position in European settler society.
Directed by Dana Rotberg, 2013, New Zealand, 96mins, Drama, English and Maori with English subt.
* Official Selection Toronto International Film Festival 2013
Ms. Black, a New Zealand recording artist making her film debut, and Ms. House, both actresses of formidable presence, are well-matched opponents. Ms. Prebble, too, has reserves of power.
A solid feminine melodrama about the colonial/racist past of the director's adoptive country. [Full review in Spanish]
Showcases a triangle of strong female performances, impressive cinematography and music.
A deeply moving reminder of man's inhumanity to man in less enlightened times.
Thematically, White Lies is essential cinema, unafraid to delve into female issues even contemporary societies grapple with.
[Whirimako] Black is a towering screen presence who honours not only Rotberg's and Ihimaera's creation but also the centuries-old dignity and customs of her people.
WHITE LIKE THE MOON
A Mexican-American girl struggles to keep her identity when her mother forces her to bleach her skin. White Like the Moon is a revealing film about a dilemma not very well known outside Latino communities; that of the myth of the light skin superiority in Indigenous and Indigenous descent communities.