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The Dead Lands slated for negative stereotypes
The Deadlands

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Te reo Māori action film The Dead Lands has drawn fire from a prominent academic that it is overly violent and negative.

Leonie Pihama from Waikato University’s Te Kotahi Research Institute says there was absolute silence when the credits rolled at the end of the opening night in Hamilton, which indicated how shocked the audience was at the violence.

She questions whether it qualifies as a Māori film, as pioneers like Barry Barclay, Merata Mita and Don Selwyn would understand it.

"They were always of the view that a Māori film is a film about our people, that is written by our people, that is directed and produced by our people. That the control of the image and representation is in the hands of Māori. When we talk about what is a Māori film, this film does not actually fit the notion of how we would control our image and I think that is a really big issue when we look at the negative stereotyping, primarily of Māori men in this film, but also the kind of sideline image of Māori women," she says.

Leonie Pihama says The Dead Lands has a Fijian producer, a Pakeha producer, and a writer raised as a Pakeha.



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