06-24 November 2019



Pacific Showcase

New Zealand

90’ / Hawaii Premiere / Māori


A spiritual sequel to 2017’s WARU (HIFF37), this new omnibus of female resilience showcases a journey of empowerment through culture and the lifetime of one woman, Vai. Highlighting a spectrum of Pacific Islander cultures—Fiji, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Kuki Airani (Cook Islands), Samoa, Niue and Aotearoa—all shaped by environmental threats, isolation, scarcity of resources and a tense relationship to New Zealand. Everywhere she goes, Vai is someone else, and yet she carries within her the experiences of many women. A different Pacific Islander actress portrays Vai for each story, yet they are the same—No woman is an island. She is made up of a whole group of islands, its people, its environment, and their relationship to the land, the past and the present. They occupy the same space and time across the spectrum of the Pacific. 

There are eight distinct chapters: There is Vai from the Solomon Islands, who commits truancy to go fishing as a means to cope with the loss of her mother. In another segment, a young Vai aspires to be a singer, while her family struggles to find some water to create medicine. Then there is Vai, a Samoan living in New Zealand, who struggles to keep her life afloat between college and family obligations. Each piece centers the struggles faced by women of these Pacific islands everyday and demonstrate their poise and resolve to survive and provide support for their families, communities, and a sense of responsibility for future generations, usually at the detriment of their own being. But it also highlights the power of female kinship as well, interweaving the tender relationships that exist between women of all ages and their intimate ties to nature. 

-Anderson Le

Wednesday 13 20:00 - 21:50Regal Dole Cannery 18
Friday 15 17:00 - 18:35Regal Dole Cannery 18
CastRo Mereani Adi Tuimatanisiga, Ar-Ramadi Longopoa, Betsy Lania Luitolo, Agnes Pele, Evotia-Rose Araiti, Fiona Collins, Maliaga Erick and Hinetu Dell.
CinematographerDrew Sturge.

Directors               Becs Arahanga, Amberley Jo Aumua, Matasila Freshwater, Dianna Fuemana, Miria George, Ofa Guttenbeil, Marina Alofagia McCartney, Nicole Whippy, Sharon Whippy

Producers             Kiel McNaughton, Kerry Warkia

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