New Zealand : Monsoon Pictures International ; New Zealand Film Commission, 2015.
HDD (93 min.)
Sarah Grohnert's 'Ever The Land' explores the sublime bond between people and their land through a landmark architectural undertaking by one of New Zealand’s most passionately independent Maori tribes, Ngāi Tūhoe. The documentary focuses on the forest region of Te Urewera, where the Tūhoe indigenous people are fighting to rebuild and claim their rights. For the past 150 years, the relationship between the Tūhoe Maori tribe and the New Zealand government has been defined by longstanding grievances about the severe colonisation experiences such as illegal land confiscations and the devastating consequences of scorched earth policies. This film captures a period of change and tremendous foresight, the Tūhoe are negotiating an apology and settlement from the Crown, and constructing an architectural gem of a community centre using radically sustainable methods. Tradition and environmentalism are brought together, and the film gives us a stirring depiction of Indigenous pride. This is a film about past and future, tradition and modernity. Most of all, however, it’s about the grandest hopes, and what it takes to fulfill them.