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LOIMATA, The Sweetest Tears


Sun 2 Aug 2020, 4:00pm–6:15pm

Where: Regent Theatre, 17 The Octagon, Dunedin, Otago

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Adult: $17.50
  • Concession - with I.D: $15.00
  • Eventfinda tickets no longer on sale


Listed by: tessapmlp

Director Anna Marbrook honours the last voyage of the great waka maker, sailor and mentor Ema Siope, whose journeys between Aotearoa and Sāmoa in search of healing, and her family’s reckoning with systemic abuse, are powerfully documented.
The redemptive tale of waka builder and captain Lilo Ema Siope’s final years, the stunning LOIMATA, The Sweetest Tears is a chronicle of journeys – journeys of migration, spirituality, voyaging, healing and coming home. Confronting intergenerational trauma head on, the Siope family returns to their homeland of Sāmoa. For Ema’s father, this is his first time back to his birthplace since leaving in 1959. The result is a poignant yet tender story of a family’s unconditional love for each other, and a commitment to becoming whole again.
Ema was born and raised in South Auckland as a child of Sāmoan migrants. She captained both the Haunui Waka Hourua and Aotearoa One, both of which belong to the great waka master Hoturoa Barclay-Kerr. Ema’s key role in the revival of voyaging saw her become an important mentor for future generations of voyagers.
Directed by Ema’s friend Anna Marbrook, the project developed alongside the pair’s friendship while spending time together on the waka. LOIMATA, The Sweetest Tears builds on Marbrook’s previous documentary works which highlight both the resurgence of voyaging and the silencing of its history by colonisation, while extending a raw and stirring tribute to an extraordinary truth seeker. — Lana Lopesi

A stirring and visually gripping documentary… honouring the life and times of a great woman whose wake will be felt for years to come. — Michael Andrew, Asia Pacific Report

Anna Marbrook comes from an extensive theatre and live performance background. Her factual on-screen work, which focuses on Pacific themes, includes the 10-part Waka Warriors series, the Real Pasifik series and the feature-length documentary Te Mana o te Moana: The Pacific Voyagers.

LOIMATA, The Sweetest Tears
New Zealand/Sāmoa
Director: Anna Marbrook
Producers: Anna Marbrook, Jim Marbrook
Executive Producers: Dr Tamasailau Suaalii-Sauni, Dame Gaylene Preston
Faufautua: Dr Ai’iloilo Elise Puni, Dr Leulua’iali’i Laumua Tunufa’i
Tohunga Ahurewa: Hoturoa Barclay-Kerr
Tohunga tārai waka: James Eruera
Screenplay: Anna Marbrook, Jim Marbrook
Cinematographer: Jess Charlton
Editor: Malcolm Clarke
Music: Matthew Suttor
With: Lilo Ema Siope
World Premiere
In English and Samoan, with English subtitles
94 minutes
Censors rating M Sexual abuse themes
Aotearoa films presented in association with Resene

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