On October 15, 2007, with new counterterrorism powers, New Zealand police raided the residents of TÅ«hoe, raiding homes in the small town of RÅ«Ätoki in the Bay of Plenty, Aotearoa. Among the many arrested on suspicion of domestic terrorism was an activist Taming Iti. Fourteen years later, award-winning filmmaker Tearepa kahi, world famous actor Curtis Cliff and artist Taming Iti
announce their response to the event, with a feature film
Muru. The gripping action drama is slated for a nationwide general release on February 3, 2022, in time for Waitangi Day.
Muru is a Maori concept of reconciliation and forgiveness. Written and directed by
Tearepa kahi (Poi E: The story of our song, Mount Sion) and shot in Te Urewera and RÅ«Ätoki, Muru stars Curtis Cliff (The Dark Horse, Avatar 2),
Jay ryan (IT Chapter Two, The Oven), Manu bennett (The Hobbit trilogy) and Simone kessell
(Account). The supporting cast includes Ria Te Uira Paki (Dead lands), Roimata fox (Waru), Poroaki Merritt-McDonald (Savage) and Taming Iti like himself.
Tearepa Kahi’s previous feature films Mount Sion and
Poi E: The story of our song were both released on Waitangi Day, setting local box office records.
Tearepa kahi noted Muru
was done with “a Merata Mita and Geoff murphy spirit, one
Taming Iti authenticity and a Curtis Cliff commitment to craftsmanship.
Kahi commented on the production process: âShooting a film on location in TÅ«hoe during a pandemic brought an interesting set of challenges to our already difficult history, but the shared understanding and full support of the local TÅ«hoe marae and kaumÄtua, cast and crew allowed us to progressing through the shoot at a deliberate pace and creating characters with a form that we hope will create a deep cultural impact and speak the truth to power.
Main producer Reikura Kahi (Poi E: The story of our song) says
Muru is a powerful and revealing Te Reo Maori language film with a solid performance from a dream cast. Reikura Kahi continued:
âOur most memorable day was when our cast and crew were welcomed to Tuapou Marae in the Waimana Valley. Listen to waiata tangi and stand in silence next to the resting place of Rua KÄnana. Muru is not a re-creation of the events that happened on October 15, but a story that weaves the deep past and the recent present together, in order to reach a place we now need greater understanding more than ever .
Kahi worked with the director of photography Fred renata (Poi E: The story of our song, Mount Sion), Oscar-winning publisher Jean Gilbert (Hacksaw Ridge, The Lord of the Rings) and composer Mahuia Bridgman Cooper (Shadow in the cloud) to bring Muru to life and said to work with Curtis Cliff was “a dream come trueâ. He continued: “An actor of Cliff’s abilities, being in constant international demand, in addition to filming ‘Avatar 2” I knew we had to come up with something that would allow him to really bite and showcase all of his skills. “
Executive producer and main actor Curtis Cliff
commented : âWe are living in difficult times.
Muru is a suitably wild ride in the land of TÅ«hoe. It reminds me that when the world goes crazy and things go wrong, then courage and love are what really matter in life. I am honored to collaborate with Tearepa and Reikura because they are true champions of Maori storytelling. They work with heart and guts and with deep respect and joy for our living heritage. As always, they are attached to our unique and rich humanity in this final touchstone.
is the first feature film funded by Te Tumu Whakaata Taonga – New Zealand Film Commission He Pounamu Te Reo MÄori Feature Fund as part of the Te Rautaki Maori strategy. Pouwhakahaere Te O Kahurangi Waaka says the funds committed to make films with a Te Reo Maori majority and that support Maori storytelling to reach national and global audiences are long overdue, marking a significant milestone for the industry with the release of Murou. The film was made with an additional investment of Arclight Films International, Te MÄngai PÄho, New Zealand On Air / Irirangi Te Motu, Trois (to be confirmed), Imagezone and Images & Son. The film is distributed in New Zealand and Australia by Rialto Distribution, with Arclight Films International manage sales in the rest of the world.
Muru hits theaters nationwide on February 3, 2022, for Waitangi Day.
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