Screened as part of NZIFF 2004

Hone Tuwhare - The Return Home 2004

Directed by Michelle McGregor

New Zealand In English and Te reo Māori with English subtitles
60 minutes Beta-SP

Producers

Michelle McGregor
,
Anita Langthaller

Photography

Michelle McGregor
,
Mark Ralston

Editors

Michelle McGregor
,
Andrew Wellbrock

Sound

Anita Langthaller

With

Hone Tuwhare
,
Glen Colquhoun

Elsewhere

Poet and national treasure Hone Tuwhare was born near Kaikohe. Seventy-five years after he left Northland, poet and unabashed fan Glen Colquhoun decided it was time he came back. He wrote a poem, published in the Listener, inviting the old man back. It worked. Tuwhare, with Colquhoun, and musicians Mahina Kaui, Lavinia Kingi and Nopera Pikari, toured through Northland in March 2002. The Listener’s Dennis Welch and Jane Ussher and filmmaker Michelle McGregor tagged along for the record. He read his poetry at public gatherings convened in his honour, visited schools, and met with old friends and relatives. We see his public appearances and some of the bits in between, as he clowns in his bed, croons a Sinatra song or two, gives fresh vent to the anger that’s contained in his most famous poem, relishes a seafood dinner, or mesmerises school children with bawdiness and some heartfelt advice. McGregor leaves us in little doubt that everyone he met felt happier and richer for the encounter. Her charming film is virtually guaranteed to continue the effect. — BG