Actors Cliff Curtis and Jay Ryan popped into the studio to have a yarn with the George Breakfast team about their new film ‘Muru’, which came out today.
The film is a response to the 2007 Tūhoe raids and is directed by Tearepa Kahi (Whale Rider) and stars artist and activist Tame Iti as himself - he was arrested during the original raids.
It’s the first film to be funded by Te Tumu Whakaata Taonga, whan NZ Film Commission fund aiming to develop feature films in te reo Māori.
Muru is the Māori concept of forgiveness, and Curtis said there’ll be a lot of that going on after you watch the film, which is filled with action and made with the audience in mind.
"Muru means to forgive, and that’s what you’re going to have to do after you watch this movie."
“We wanna make a movie that people want to see,” he said. “It’s a thriller, it’s an action movie.”
The movie was filmed in the Te Urewera national park, the real-life location where the raids took place.
Jay and Cliff both showed love to the Tūhoe iwi who still live there, and the movie is important to teach people who may not know about the raids.
“The community of Tuhoe was amazing,” Cliff said. “The raids on Tūhoe started in 1916… they live with the impact of that, it doesn’t leave easily. And in 2007 it happened again,” he continued.
“The movie is a response to those things, it’s not a factual movie about the 2007 raids. But I love that my nephew and niece, they went and saw the movie and were like ‘ooh what really happened?!’ and they’re interested in what happened now, otherwise it’s just noise,” he told us.
"It’s a kind of shameful chapter [in our history]. But I think it’s healthy when we look at ourselves and say ‘who are we, is this who we are, is this what we wanna do?’"
Jay Ryan said it was awesome working with activist/artist Tame Iti, who brought the energy throughout filming.
“I was a bit starstruck to meet Tame,” he said. “He was amazing. We were up in the choppers over the Urewera ranges every day filming."
"It was very action-based, very physical and Tame was with us all day and just keeping the joy there.”
“Muru’ is available to watch in Cinemas across the country today, make sure you check it out.
Listen to the full yarn we had with Jay and Cliff above.