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Berlin Doc ‘Merata’ Explores Life of Pioneer Maori Female Filmmaker

The emotionally powerful documentary “Merata: How Mum Decolonized the Screen,” which is screening at Berlinale, tells the intimate story of legendary Maori filmmaker Merata Mita, who helped to kick-start indigenous cinema from that corner of the world. Directed by her son, Hepi Mita, it’s also a personal journey through their family life, as Hepi explores how important and trailblazing his mother was in her field of work, and how her passion for the arts informed many aspects of her life, before she died in 2010. “It was daunting to be so intimate. On one hand I wanted to craft an honest and emotional portrayal, and on the other I wanted to protect myself and my family,” says Mita, who adds that “it’s a very delicate balance, especially when your perspective is so ingrained in the subject matter.”

The film showcases never-before-seen footage and offers up extremely open accounts of

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