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Waru Review

by Charles Trapunski
4 out of 5 stars

Despite not jumping out as being avant garde, this film feels like the future of filmmaking and perhaps close to what can be expected by “content”.

Waru is a movie of ideas, tying together the narrative of one boy’s death (waru means “eight” in Maori), through the lens of eight different female Maori directors. They were given rules about when their segments were set, what kind of rules they had as to filming time, and all sorts of other requirements. It recalls Lars Von Trier’s Dogme 95 Manifesto but way different, and results in a film that actually has an interesting and driven story rather than a collection of vignettes.

Chelsea Cohen’s segment was my favourite by far, about a TV station assigned to cover the event, but descending into a windbag giving his criticism of how the Maori (subtitles showing that he mispronounced the name on purpose) are used to this sort of thing. Watching his colleague go off on him is a thing of beauty, even though one could argue this segment is tangentially related to the main story.

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