Māui's Hook is a New Zealand documentary about suicide projected through a Māori lens – but let us not make the mistake of saying this is a "Māori story", as this is sadly a story for all Aotearoa.
The film is, however, revolutionary in the way it addresses the issues in a proactive, and hopefully encouraging, manner. "Less kia kaha, and more kōrero", is a key message. And this should make it compulsory viewing.
A cinema feature film by Māori psychologist and filmmaker Paora Joseph, director of Tātarakihi: Children of Parihaka, MĀUI’S HOOK is a raw, compelling road trip of loss, forgiveness and redemption.
On the anniversary of his father’s suicide, Tama (Niwa Whatuira), a young man fuelled by drugs, alcohol and violence, spirals into anger and despair.
As Tama travels the destructive road of no return, he becomes intertwined with five courageous families, each broken by the suicide of a loved one, each in search of healing and forgiveness.
Hostage to his own pain, he finds himself travelling with the families – a road trip that forces him to witness first-hand the aftermath of suicide. And to face his own mortality.