Voices of the Land: Ngā Reo o te Whenua

Directed by Paul Wolffram

Paul Wolffram’s fascinating and eloquent doco about Māori instrumental traditions accompanies Richard Nunns and Horomona Horo as they perform in a series of remarkable South Island wilderness settings.


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  • ★★★★★ review by Barnaby HM on Letterboxd

    I loved this film. Wonderful combination of sound and image, and talking heads speaking proper wisdom. The closing shot is magnificent. Every NZer should see this.

    More here: jdanspsawyksui.com/2014/08/03/voices-of-the-land-calling-on/

  • ★★★★½ review by Emma Maguire on Letterboxd

    My professor did make this so I might be a little biased, but it's honestly one of the most ...nice-feeling... films I've ever seen? It's fascinating and the sounds are lovely and it triggered my ASMR no end.

  • ★★★★★ review by LauraLives on Letterboxd

    A touching, rich documentary that responsibly explores a traditonal subject

  • ★★★★ review by ReedRothchild on Letterboxd

    As in his last film, Stori Tumbuna, Paul Wolffram has successfully documented subject matter that could be inappropriately reverent and academic in the wrong hands by infusing it with warmth and humour. He has achieved this without detracting from its ethnomusicological subject matter. As much as this film is about the passing of cultural information between generations and the tragedy of that information being lost, it is also a character study of Richard Nunns, a man attempting to recover that information. Grumpy, brilliant and all too self-aware of his position as a Pākehā expert on Māori instrumentation, Nunns is a very worthy subject of the documentary. However, challenging Nunns for the title of star of the film is Alun Bollinger's beautiful cinematography. Never gratuitous scenery porn, the beautiful panoramas of Aoteatoa's beaches, forests and mountains always serves a purpose, combining with the expertly recorded sound to give a real impression of the voices of the land.

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