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Films by Paora Te Oti Takarangi 


Paora is an award winning filmmaker who has directed and produced the New Zealand films Hiding Behind the Green Screen, Tatarakihi: The Children of Parihaka, Te Awa Tupua: Voices from the River, and Māui's Hook. 

Film Trailers

Hiding Behind The Green Screen is an innovative, experimental and creative documentary aimed at heightening awareness around the marijuana culture amongst youth in New Zealand. 

Four young men are given the opportunity to be mentored by two accomplished New Zealand musicians - Frances Kora from the band Kora and Rio Hemopo from the bands Trinity Roots and Fat Freddy's Drop.


Together they embark on a journey of self-discovery where honest discussions are shared concerning the negative impact marijuana has had on their lives. The young men are challenged about their previous life choices and are encouraged to break free from drug addiction by realising their creative potential through their passion for music.


NZ Documentary Edge - Best Film and Best Director 2011 * * * * *

Tatarakihi – The Children of Parihaka is a true story of war, passive resistance and the children who will never forget. Tatarakihi is a new documentary from Documentary Edge award-winning producer/director Paora Joseph and executive producer Gaylene Preston (NZIFF, 2012). 


“A modest and affecting road trip doco” - Peter Calder, NZ Herald


“A gentle film, full of compassion. I cannot recommend it highly enough” - Graeme Tuckett, Dominion Post


"A triumph of local Cinema" - Jon E Cist, Big Screen NZ


"This is cinema as an act of living memory ... raw and heartfelt ... powerful, provacative and pertinent”
* * * * Adam Fresco,


* * * * Sarah Watt, Sunday Star Times

Te Awa Tupua: Voices from the River a gentle yet emotionally stirring account of anotherimportant part of New Zealands History from the Director of the revelatory Tatarakihi


2014 NZIFF - film review "Haunting & Effective"


The director of Tatarakihi: The Children of Parihaka channels the spirit and poetry in the stories of Whanganui iwi, past and present, and the power of the river itself, in a film celebrating their deep connection. In 1995 an iwi-lead occupation of Pakaitore – a sacred block of land in central-city Whanganui widely known as Moutua Gardens – lasted 80 days. The protest drew support from other iwi across New Zealand and highlighted the longstanding struggle for custodianship of the river. Te Awa Tupua revisits the Pakaitore occupation in considerable depth, drawing on conversations amongst those who were there. As in the earlier film, Joseph threads historical imagery into his own more recently captured footage to express a powerful sense of continuity through time. He is marvelously abetted with footage filmed at Pakaitore by an Australian TV documentary crew, whose critical perspective on the Pākehā response provides some salutary reminders of what a bitter struggle this was. Almost 20 years later the life of the river is recognised in law, and this beautiful film bears witness to – and enacts – the transfer of Whanganui culture and history to future generations.  

Māui's Hook (E, 92 mins) Directed by Paora Joseph ★★★★★

A few years ago, writer/director Paora Joseph's Tatarakihi: The Children of Parihaka was one of the absolute gems of the New Zealand International Film Festival. 

The film interwove the story of the invasion of the community at Parihaka with a present day road trip taken by some of the descendants of that community from the Taranaki to Otago, and the site of the prison that held the prophets Te Whiti and Tohu. 

It was a gentle, lyrical and compassionate film with a spine like a taiaha. I didn't see anything that moved and intrigued me as much in that festival. 

Psychologist and film-maker Joseph is one of the deftest documentary makers working in Aotearoa. There's nothing soft or naive about Joseph's approach, but his films are exercises in applied compassion and insight. 

There are no white-coated experts, no outsider opinions and no easy answers in Māui's Hook.

By Graeme Tuckett
Jul 12, 2018

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