Director: Te Arepa Kahi
New Zealand’s unofficial national anthem, “Poi E,” is an iconic song of celebration. A simple tune with a catchy beat, it was released 32 years ago and has since become a cult classic, bringing a sense of pride to generations of New Zealanders. With humor, energy, and emotion, this documentary resurrects a seminal moment in New Zealand history, when the nation’s first–ever Maori-language pop song, “Poi E,” outsold Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” to dominate the local charts in 1984. Not only did it stay #1 in New Zealand for 34 weeks, the song has continued to rank among the country’s 10 best-selling singles every decade since its release.
The film centers on charismatic singer and producer Dalvanium Prime, a Maori who melded his people’s traditional song with a 1980s pop beat, creating a unique sound that somehow managed to tap into the heart of the nation.
Released in 2016
Tales from the Heart