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Fri 14 Oct 2016, 7:00pm–8:30pm

Where: Nga Taonga Sound & Vision, National Library Building, 70 Molesworth Street, Thorndon, Wellington

Restrictions: M

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Screening as part of the “Films that shaped New Zealand – Celebrating 120 Years of Cinema” series.

Taika Waititi’s feature debut was workshopped at the Sundance Film Festival and developed for a number years while he worked on his first feature "Eagle vs Shark." "Boy" tells the story of a young boy who is a superfan of Michael Jackson, and who also idolises his absent father, Alamein – who returns home after many years away. It moves away from the grim, dark topics that characterise much New Zealand cinema with a story of coming of age laced with Waititi’s characteristic light-hearted humour while mixing local and global pop culture.

The film also showed that comedies could be smash-hits – "Boy" became the highest grossing New Zealand made film at the local box office, and was only recently replaced in the number one spot by the director's own "Hunt for the Wilderpeople."

"Part of what makes this film distinct is the humour; I want to explore the painful comedy of growing up and interpreting the world. I believe that despite our faults and inadequacies, through all pain and heartache, there is still room to laugh. I think that’s what makes my films different, the feeling that although there is often darkness, there are also little bits of light to encourage hope and hold on to possibility." – Taika Waititi, speaking to the NZ Film Commission.

"Written and directed by Sundance veteran Waititi, the movie seems to hit close to home for him; a 10-year-old in 1984 would now be about the age of the grown filmmaker. And ‘Boy’ represents a big jump for the director. Bits of animation and whimsy serve the story without being excessive. Filled with colorful music by the Phoenix Foundation and lots of carefully observed local details, ‘Boy’ has the cartoon-like feel of reality seen through the eyes of a promising and utterly disarming 10-year-old. No one here is completely evil, just not what they were cracked up to be." – James Greenberg, "The Hollywood Reporter".

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