Maori Boy Genius (image 1)

Screened as part of NZIFF 2012

Maori Boy Genius 2012

Directed by Pietra Brettkelly

Internationally lauded Auckland filmmaker Pietra Brettkelly (The Art Star and the Sudanese Twins) accompanies 16-year-old Māori scholar Ngaa Rauuira Pumanawawhiti to Yale and a critical turning point in his education.

New Zealand / The Netherlands In English and Te reo Māori with English subtitles
84 minutes HDCAM

Director, Producer

Executive producers

Joanna Paul
,
Jennifer Fox
,
Michael Haslund-Christensen
,
Vicki Jackways

Photography

Jacob Bryant

Editor

Molly Malene Stensgaard

Sound

Dick Reade

Music

Anika Moa

With

Ngaa Rauuira Pumanawawhiti
,
Maakarita Paku
,
Adrian Davis
,
Mike Paku
,
Janet Paku
,
Dean William Whobrey
,
Riwai Rangihuna
,
Daniel Pikari

Festivals

Berlin 2012

Elsewhere

Ngaa Rauuira Pumanawawhiti, 16 years old at the time of filming, is a charismatic young man through whom a great many aspirations flow. Born under a double rainbow, he’s carried a weight of expectation ever since – and with it a wealth of iwi pride and support. Steeped in Māori culture and political struggle, he has an avid appetite for political philosophy, and the hope that he might grow into a leader is not one he’s ever ducked. In her first documentary feature to address a New Zealand subject (but not her first to garner international attention), Auckland filmmaker Pietra Brettkelly (The Art Star and the Sudanese Twins) accompanies him through a critical turning point in his education. Chaperoned by his father, Ngaa Rauuira travels to Yale where he is enrolled in intensive political science seminars. In a world away from the wider whānau, he encounters more daunting challenges and choices than have been thrown in his path before. The film we are screening incorporates material seen in the one-hour documentary commissioned and broadcast last year by Māori Television. — BG