Grafted 2024

Directed by Sasha Rainbow Māhutonga

Mean Girls  meets  Face/Off   to absolutely wild results in Sasha Rainbow’s gory and uniquely Kiwi black comedy about a Chinese student who finds a new way of achieving popularity one body at a time.

Aug 08

The Civic

Aug 16

ASB Waterfront Theatre

Aotearoa New Zealand In English and Mandarin with English subtitles
96 minutes Colour / DCP
graphic violence, horror, sex scenes & offensive language



Murray Francis, Leela Menon 


Mia Maramara, Hweiling Ow, Lee Murray, Sasha Rainbow 


Tammy Williams


Fauze Hassen

Production Designer

Nathan Taare

Costume Designer

Kyle Callanan


Lachlan Anderson


Joyena Sun, Jess Hong, Eden Hart, Jared Turner, Sepi To’a

To say this film packs a punch would be an understatement. Not for the faint of heart, Grafted deftly handles serious themes with care, humour and complete and utter carnage.  

Our young protagonist, Wei, has had an extremely rough start in life. The film opens with her father’s horrifically bloody death as he attempts to rid himself of a hereditary facial disfigurement. Many years later, still reeling from the loss, and the shame of her own facial disfigurement, Wei is rejected by her family in China. Desperate to leave, she gains a university scholarship in New Zealand. She’s packed off to Auckland to live with her aunt and cousin Angela, who was born in New Zealand and treats Wei with embarrassment and disgust. Her aunt means well but has bigger priorities, leaving the cousins to end up at each other’s throats – literally. 

Once again facing rejection from every side, Wei throws herself into continuing her father’s scientific work. She’s thrilled when her professor takes her under his wing, but before she knows it, she has yet another problem – not only is he a total sleaze, he’s trying to steal Wei’s research and formulas. Pushed to the brink by the smarmy professor, Angela and her classic “mean girl” friend Eve, Wei goes wild. In her desperation to be accepted by her peers, the mad scientist takes the concept of masking to the extreme and gets a taste for revenge, with a perfectly off-kilter score by Lachlan Anderson (of legendary Kiwi punk band Die! Die! Die!) that’ll make your skin crawl. — Louise Adams