Question- The most significant texts make us reconsider what we thought we knew.
How would you feel if you were kicked out of your own home? It is true that the most significant texts make us reconsider what we thought we knew; The movie “Whina” directed by James napier robertson in 2022 is a great deception of this. This movie follows the epic history Whina Cooper had built in New Zealand. She devoted her life to Maori land rights and Maori women’s rights, the movie effortlessly captures her story. In this significant piece of New Zealand’s history we are shown the brutal effects of colonisation and Maori Marglinizlation. This can make some reconsider their initialised thoughts of the colonial history of New Zealand. It is important that texts make us reconsider something we thought we knew as it shows the truth of what really happened, and the readers learn something new which is always valuable.
I agree that the most significant texts should make us reconsider what we know, as it is important to know the truth. ‘’This is Maori land!” exasperated by Whina, in this scene the viewers are introduced to the first brutal consequences of colonialism. We can see her community fleeing as the British come in searching to take the land back, Whina in her leadership fashion stands her ground and is aggressively pushed to the ground. We see a close up shot of her face being pushed into the mud signifying she is no match for the colonists. This scene makes the viewers reconsider what they thought they knew or what they may have been told; That young Whina (only a teenager) is being physically abused just for being on her land. Many people may have been told stories of New Zealand’s past but they may not know how aggressive and violent it truly was until seeing this scene. Personally when I watched this scene for the first time it made me reconsider how violent and cruel New Zealand’s history of colonisation truly was. There are many other moments in this movie which show the aggression and abuse faced by Maori daily, which can be a real eye opener, in turn making us reconsider what we knew.
Another example of colonialism that makes the viewers reconsider their views is the scene in which Whina attempts to move back to Auckland. In this scene we are shown Whina and her family trying to rent out a house in auckland in the late (insert year here) and as she opens the door to a white woman she automatically shuts the door on Whina and her family. We can see a close up of the white woman’s face in shock when she realises who is at the door which may come as a surprise to viewers, making them again reconsider what they thought they knew. ‘’No sorry its not for rent anymore,’’ exclaimed the white woman. The dialogue shows us Whina and her family are not welcome and judging by her facial expressions she is bluntly lying, because she is of Maori dissent. To go from owning the land they are standing on to being marginalised and urbanised within moments is a cruel piece of truth from Aoteroas history that cannot be ignored. This scene is yet another eye opener to viewers as it shows how Maori were marginalised and disregarded.
The effects of Maori being marginalised and aggressively removed from their homes are evident in the Salvation army scene. After the previous scene of being kicked away from their rental home in Auckland, Whina and her family are forced to find accommodation elsewhere. They eventually stumble across a church (salvation army) for maori in need. “We don’t have space sorry’’ said the priest, ‘’your a church aren’t you?’’ replied Whina, they are then let in. In this part of the scene the lighting and atmosphere is very dark and depressing. The viewers are shown a broken down church making them reconsider what it was like to live as a Maori person in Auckland at this time. The atmosphere makes the readers empathise for Whina and her family as they have to sleep here for the next few nights of their stay. This part of Aotearoa history may tend to be ignored, the marginalisation of Maori on their own land that is, these facts are what make the text significant and make readers re-think what they might originally thought.
In conclusion I agree that the most important texts make us reconsider what we thought we knew as it allows the reader to learn something new and new truths to be discovered. Colonisation is a significant issue in Aotearoa and the movie ‘’Whina’’ beautifully portrays these effects on Maori and the lands. It is a significant piece of history, the movie that can be seen and watched by generations to come so that they learn the importance and significance of Aoteroas past.