Rūrangi (2020) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Director: Max Currie. Cast: Elz CarradArlo GreenAwhina-Rose Ashby 

The story of a transgender man returning to his hometown in New Zealand after a decade was originally conceived as a 5 part mini-series on the web. It’s is now been put together in this surprisingly touching little film.

Rūrangi draw its power from a strong and yet understated performance by Elz Carrad who’s clearly must be digging into his own experiences as he’s not just very believable and real, but capable of emoting while at the same time doing very little. His presence in the film is magnetic, his pain and his fears are palpable.

It is a story about acceptance, about forgiveness, guilt, shame and about finding oneself. When you write it like this is sounds very pretentious, but Rūrangi is anything but pretentious. Is it a gentle and beautiful film, which unfortunately, because its subject matter,  will most likely end up being seen by a very niche audience: a real shame because the themes in it are actually very universal.

It is a quiet film in tone but its messages are loud and clear.

It also takes place among Maori communities, which adds an extra layer and dimension to the film, though that’s probably the part which I though worked the least. It may still about acceptance but I I felt I got in the way of the may story which was actually a lot more powerful and somehow relatable

Having said all that, by the time I got to the end I found myself wanting to see a lot more, something which rarely happens these days. 

If ever there was a sequel or a second mini web series, I’d be totally up for it.

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