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  • Oct. 26-28 2018

Ever the Land

EVER THE LAND explores the sub­lime bond between peo­ple and their land through a land­mark archi­tec­tur­al under­tak­ing by one of New Zealand’s most pas­sion­ate­ly inde­pen­dent Maori tribes, Ngāi Tūhoe.

The set­ting is the for­est region of Te Ure­w­era and Tūhoe are an indige­nous peo­ple fight­ing to rebuild and to claim their rights. For the past 150 years, the rela­tion­ship between the Tūhoe Maori tribe and the New Zealand gov­ern­ment has been defined by long­stand­ing griev­ances over severe coloni­sa­tion expe­ri­ences such as ille­gal land con­fis­ca­tions and the dev­as­tat­ing con­se­quences of scorched earth poli­cies. The film cap­tures a peri­od of change and tremen­dous fore­sight: Tūhoe are nego­ti­at­ing an apol­o­gy and set­tle­ment from the Crown, and con­struct­ing an archi­tec­tur­al gem of a com­mu­ni­ty cen­tre using rad­i­cal­ly sus­tain­able meth­ods. Tra­di­tion and envi­ron­men­tal­ism are brought togeth­er, and the film gives us a stir­ring depic­tion of Indige­nous pride.

The new build­ing is the bind­ing char­ac­ter in this obser­va­tion­al doc­u­men­tary that immers­es us in a cul­ture that is tight­ly woven into its land and an archi­tec­ture that is defined by its integri­ty to it. This is a film about past and future, tra­di­tion and moder­ni­ty. Most of all, though, it’s about the grand­est hopes—and what it takes to ful­fil them.


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