Saturday, 31st July at 7pm, Grey Lynn Community Centre
New Zealand 2007 / 80min. English, Te Reo Maori with English subtitles.
Director Simon Marler / Producer Simon Marler, Mairi Gunn, Karen Browne
How do you resuscitate the land?
This is a question Simon Marler’s beautiful documentary, Restoring the Mauri of Lake Omapere poses.
Mauri, meaning life spirit, is contained within all objects; trees, rocks, rivers, lakes, us too? Marler takes us back through the history of Lake Omapere, a small Northland Lake effected by colonialism, deforestation, farming, modern agriculture and the resource management policies of government. Through that history Marler shows us the impact we as a people have had on the environment and also the spirit or Mauri of places effected by human behaviour such as Omapere. It also serves as a timely reminder to consider the way in which current conventional agricultural practices and environmental policies are impacting on habitats, natural waterways, living systems and communities as a whole. The issues explored in this film are really a microcosm for much wider systemic trends and problems that are being faced in regions nationwide and around the world. Marler does a good job of showing the multi layered consequences of not exercising greater attention and awareness in the way we treat the environment.
Certainly it’s a thoughtful documentary and artfully produced, one of the questions being posed is whether the voluntary management being undertaken and developed by Lake Ompere’s Trustees, its Kaitiakitanga; meaning guardians for sky, sea and land, will be enough to breathe life back into the lake’s still waters? It’s a poignant thought that also raises the issue of indigenous people and local communities having a greater say in how their natural habitats are managed and whether that can offer greater care and preservation of our natural resources.