06-24 November 2019



Pacific Showcase
Vea Mafile'o and Jeremiah Tauamiti

New Zealand

2019 / 97’ / Hawaii Premiere / English
First feature


Many refugees and immigrants who seek out a better life in another country will regularly send money back to the motherland. In the case of filmmaker Vea Mafile’o, her father, Saia, who moved to New Zealand from his native Tonga, the pull is from the iron-grasp of the church. Vea investigates why her father still insists on giving nearly everything, including his pension checks, to the Tongan Church. Now in his 70s, Saia lives with Vea, who, along with her brother, Robert, struggles to manage their father's finances. 

By letting her camera delve inside the Mafile’o family, Vea lays bare the strain these money problems have placed on their bewildered relatives. Only when the family returns to Tonga for the 150th anniversary of Saia's school do they begin to understand the inherent sense of community firmly rooted in Tongan culture and the compulsion to donate whatever possible to the greater good. In the end, the film illustrates the intense and mysterious gravitational pull that heritage can exert on a family, and how that shared connection can help heal old wounds.

FOR MY FATHER’S KINGDOM, which had its world premiere at this year’s Berlinale, is both an insightful, poignant character study of a man with unwavering faith in his community and culture and a critique of how this commitment came at the personal sacrifice of his own family. It is definitely an act of artistic courage by the director, who never shies away from navigating the political and social issues from her native culture and the chasm it has created from within her own family.

-Anderson Le

Friday 15 19:45 - 21:27Regal Dole Cannery 16
Saturday 16 12:45 - 14:27Regal Dole Cannery 15
DirectorVea Mafile'o and Jeremiah Tauamiti.
CastSaia Mafile'o, Robert Mafile'o, Fiona Henderson Mafile'o, Emily Mafile'o and Vea Mafile'o.
ScreenplayVea Mafile'o.
CinematographerJeremiah Tauamiti.
EditorMargot Francis.
SoundDick Reade.
ProductionMalosi Pictures.
PrizeSpecial Jury Award 'Best International Documentary' - 2019 LA Asian Pacific Film Festival

Sandra Kailahi ... producer
Vea Mafile'o ... producer

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