Waru Wahine Maori direct powerful take on child abuse in NZ

Waru, which means eight, is made up of eight interwoven parts directed by eight wahine Maori (Maori women) exploring the issue of child abuse in New Zealand. Watch the trailer below and find out how to get yourself a double pass- we have a few to give away



Waru, which means eight in Maori, is centred around a little boy named Waru killed at the hands of a caregiver. 

The film, told in 10-minute vignettes written and directed by wahine Maori (Maori women), the single death is viewed through eight stories from the extended family and surrounding community, to the immediate aftermath of a young boy’s death and the wider repercussions.


The aim was for the film to communicate the shared feelings the filmmakers have towards child abuse in Aotearoa (New Zealand).


“We felt the best way to tell this story was from a female Māori perspective and from multiple viewpoints.”


The filmmakers, Chelsea Cohen, Ainsley Gardiner, Briar Grace-Smith, Paula Jones, Casey Kaa, Renae Maihi, Awanui Simich-Pene, and Katie Wolfe; were each tasked to make one film- 10 minutes long, all set on the same time of day, filmed in a single shot, with a lead wahine Maori character and connected to the death of Waru.


Although released on October 19, in New Zealand, the film made its international debut to a packed cinema at the Toronto International Film Festival a week prior and received a standing ovation.


So far the film has a a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes the well-known American review aggregation website for film and television with critics describing it as ‘a fascinating glimpse into New Zealand’s Maori community’ bringing a sense of ‘dramatic, urgent realism’.


Maori issues journalist Mihingarangi Forbes has called Waru a hugely important film.


If you would like to win yourself a double pass to see the film in cinemas answer the question below: 


What does the word WARU mean?


Comment with your answer, tagging in who you'd like to go see it with, on our facebook post below to go into the draw. Entries close Wednesday 24th, winners chosen and notified by COB Tuesday.