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The Convert


“Only blood redeems blood”



Set at the height of the 1930s Musket Wars,The Convert depicts a Māori culture beset by colonialism and massive cultural change. Lay preacher Thomas Munro (Guy Pearce) is on a vessel headed for the British settlement of Epworth, but when it anchors for repairs he witnesses chief Akatārawa (Lawrence Makoare) wiping out a rival tribe. Munro escapes with Rangimai (Tioreore Ngatai--Melbourne), daughter of the rival chief, and after they witness firsthand the entrenched racism of Epworth's white townsfolk the pair finds themselves isolated. An assassination makes bloody war between dominant tribes inevitable, as Munro and Rangimai realise they are pawns in a strategic play of power.

“A tremendous feat of reclamation, a Māori story told by a Māori director in the Māori language with a large Māori cast”

The Playlist

“Lee Tamahori captures the might and majesty of Aotearoa in this stately film, with Tioreore Ngatai-Melbourne giving an electric performance”

The Guardian (Australia)

Why You Should See This Film

Lee Tamahori (Once Were Warriors) co-wrote and directs this historical epic drama shot amidst the stunning landscape of his native New Zealand, adapting missionary records, captain’s logs and Māori oral history to explore a tumultuous period that saw existing intertribal conflicts escalated by the adoption of European arms. The colonial powers and potential white saviour narrative are pushed to the background as The Convert focuses on awesome beauty of the country and the legacy of her people.

Lee Tamahori
Guy Pearce, Tioreore Ngatai-Melbourne, Antonio Te Maioha, Jacqueline McKenzie
119 minutes
Māori with English subtitles, English

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