Screened as part of NZIFF 2015
There’s an enlightening and moving portrait of Tūhoe activist, artist and kaumātua Tame Iti at the heart of Kim Webby’s film about the trial of the ‘Urewera Four’ and its aftermath. She outlines the perils of surveillance in her account of the trial, in which Iti and three others were accused of plotting terrorist activities after an alleged paramilitary training camp was discovered by police in the Urewera in 2007. Charting his youth as a young activist through to his perspective on the polarising trial, the film offers us a rich, multifaceted portrait of the man, peppered by both his warm humanism and his rightly embittered philosophy. Employing Iti’s legal quandary as a microcosm of the tension between Ngāi Tūhoe and the Crown, Webby observes a people who never lose their integrity or vital sense of independence despite the long shadows of injustice. A startling and engaging companion piece to the more contemplative Ever the Land, The Price of Peace reveals a national failure of maddening proportions, culminating in an emotionally cathartic denouement that’s deeply personal in scale – yet crucially hopeful in its historic significance.