Set against the backdrop of the stunning Tūhoe native bush, writer and director Tearepa Kahi (POI E: THE STORY OF OUR SONG, HIFF 2017) plunges us into one of the most charged episodes of Aotearoa’s history: the Tūhoe raids of October 15th, 2007. Community Sergeant ‘Taffy’ Tawharau (Cliff Curtis) has returned home to care for his ailing father. In addition to shuttling the local tamariki to kura and getting kaumātua to their medical check-ups, he must also contend with the rebellious but loveable teenager, Rusty (Poroaki Merritt-McDonald) also recently returned home — but from six months in a Youth Corrections Facility. Against this backdrop of whānau and whenua, the police armed offenders squad descends on the sleepy town of Rūātoki — on a school day. Invoking New Zealand’s new anti-terrorism laws, the manhunt begins for Tūhoe activist, Tame Iti (who plays himself), the alleged mastermind behind a potential political uprising and ringleader of military-style training camps in Te Urewera. MURU is a clear reminder: there will always be taniwha. Some will have eight legs and two heads. Others will be harder to spot. But there will always be those who are ready to fight the taniwha to create greater understanding for the future of Aotearoa. —New Zealand International Film Festival



Tearepa Kahi


Reikura Kahi, Selina Joe, Tāme Iti


Tearepa Kahi


Cliff Curtis, Jay Ryan, Manu Bennett


Fred Renata