Elevation has it's origin in a series of conversations held with my South African neighbour, Donny McArthur, which took place over the course of many months. As a new immigrant to New Zealand, Donny was intrigued with things Māori as much as I was fascinated with what his life in Cape Town must have been like. The topics of apartheid and racism were a common theme of our discussions and early on he explained that in South Africa he was termed “coloured” or what we in NZ would call half caste. This meant that he suffered discrimination from both black and white communities. Being accepted neither by white nor black society and having experienced racism in all it's forms made Donnie acutely aware of racial prejudice. The very direct and confrontational nature of some encounters contrasted strongly with the underlying systemic racism found in institutions such as banks, schools and government departments. The obvious question for me at that point was; from his perspective, how prevalent is racism in NZ? Donnie's answer was surprising - “very subtle, mostly hidden and institutionalised but definitely there in a lot more ways than most Kiwi's would like to admit”.
Find out more about Writer and Director Tihini Grant here
Festivals 20215 Official Selection NZIFF 2015 Wairoa Māori Film Festival 2015 Māoriland Film Festival 2018 Rotorua Indigenous Film Festival