We Are Still Here

We Are Still Here

Australia, New Zealand (2022, dir. Beck Cole, Chantelle Burgoyne, Dena Curtis, Richard Curtis, Mario Gaoa, Danielle MacLean, Miki Magasiva, Renae Maihi, Tracey Rigney & Tim Worrall, 82 mins)
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From the ancient past to a dystopian future, this ambitious, genre-hopping anthology film brings together First Nations filmmakers from Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific to challenge colonial myths and mark the power of resistance.

In a sweeping tale that spans 1000 years and multiple generations – from the distant past to the 19th century, the present day and a strange, dystopian future – this landmark collection traces the collective histories of Indigenous peoples across Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. Diverse in perspective, content and form, traversing the terrain of grief, love and dispossession, they each bear witness to these cultures’ ongoing struggles against patriarchy, colonialism and racism.

Led by supervising director Beck Cole (Black Comedy; Making Samson & Delilah, MIFF 2009), talented young Australian filmmakers Danielle MacLean, Tracey Rigney (Man Real, MIFF 2015; Endangered, MIFF 2005) and Dena Curtis (Jacob, MIFF 2009; Hush, MIFF 2007) join New Zealand filmmakers Chantelle Burgoyne, Richard Curtis, Mario Gaoa, Miki Magasiva, Renae Maihi and Tim Worrall for eight formidable – and sometimes funny – stories that embrace everything from animation and sci-fi to drama and romantic comedy. Begun as a right of reply to the 250th anniversary of James Cook’s disputed ‘discovery’ of Australia, the film has become a moving commemoration of First Nations identity and strength.

“A celebration of Aboriginal, Maori and South Pacific Islander survival and resilience.” – Sydney Morning Herald

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Language: Māori, Samoan and Turkish, with English subtitles
Genre: Drama, Historical, Animation, Period, Sci-Fi
Classroom discussion points: Discrimination, war, self-defence, imperialism/colonialism, family heritage, inherited trauma, camaraderie
Age suitability advice: Infrequent coarse language and infrequent contextualised violence
MIFF recommends this film as suitable for ages 12+