New Zealand filmmaker Vea Mafile’o contemplates the competing forces of faith and family in the most intimate and personal way – by examining her ageing Tongan father’s unrelenting commitment to his church, as well as the connection that it represents to his ancestral culture.
Co-directed with fellow first-time feature director Jeremiah Tauamiti, For My Father’s Kingdom is a work of interrogation and reconciliation, bridging generational and cultural divides within a fractured family.
Now in his seventies, semi-retired preacher Saia Mafile’o left Tonga behind decades ago – physically, but not emotionally, spiritually or financially. There’s no odd job that he won’t take to supplement his pension cheques, with every spare cent tithed to his Wesleyan church. Frustrated by their father’s devotion to a far-flung religious institution, and the impact it has had on their lives, Vea and her brother Robert make the pilgrimage to his homeland in an effort to comprehend his actions and motivations.
“A very personal insight into Tongan culture … an attempt, out of love, to understand a father whose upbringing was very different from their own.” – The Movie Isle