Left alone with just her spiritual guides a young girl upholds the prestige and sovereignty of the tribe in order to protect the land for generations to come. Due to her brave deeds she is immortalised forever.
AHI KĀ (2014)
Executive Producer: Cliff Curtis Producer: Jillian White Cinematography: Fred Renata Art Director: Guy Moana Music Composition: David Whitehead Written & Directed by: Richard Curtis
AHI KĀ is based on actual events that took place on lake Rotoiti in Bay of Plenty, New Zealand in the early 1900's.It is a personal story about the Directors grandmother (Taipapaki Curtis) a full blooded Maori from the Te Arawa tribe, Rotorua. She was given the responsibility to protect the land and prevent it from falling into crown hands. This story draws upon actual events and elements that took place in those times. Maori land was always owned by the local tribes not by individuals.Ahi Kā refers to the long burning fires of occupation or a tribe of people always living on the land. This story is about a young girl being left alone whilst coming to terms with her isolation and the environment in which she finds herself in.‘Manupirua Hot Springs’ is a living entity belonging and connected to both the land and the people. This film draws upon the natural properties of water, earth and fire to give a sense of a time when the people were not only connected physically but also spiritually. The films lead character, TAI - is on a journey, a coming of age shouldering the immense burden of protecting her tribes precious assets. While she is being observed from across the waters she is also being looked at from within but by a Kaitiaki (Guardian, a real Morepork that was known to follow Taipapaki around in the bush and would at times fly over her when she needed caution or reassurance).Tai’s journey encapsulates what is uniquely Māori - but is not unlike many other indigenous peoples through out the world.