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Review: Hunt for the Wilderpeople


Hunt for the Wilderpeople is a film written and directed by Taika Waititi, based on the book Wild Pork and Watercress by Barry Trump. It opened in New Zealand on March 31st 2016 and set box office records, which is no surprise because the film is phenomenal.

 It follows the story of Ricky Baker played by Julian Dennison, a young delinquent from the city. He is sent by child welfare to live deep in the country with foster parents Bella, played by Rima Te Wiata, and Hec, played by Sam Neill who Ricky calls Aunt and Uncle.

Bella is very fond of Ricky and they quickly form a strong bond, but Hec clearly doesn’t want to be part of Ricky’s life. Shortly after Ricky is settled and loving living with Bella, she is found dead by Hec. Child welfare send them a letter informing them that Ricky will have to be sent to another foster home. Ricky runs away into the bush because he wants to stay, Hec follows him to bring him back. Child welfare arrive to find a house empty and presume Hec has kidnapped Ricky.  A national manhunt ensues.

The film shows the journey Hec and Ricky while they are being pursued by both the police and Child welfare.

The cinematography was beautiful in showcasing New Zealand’s beautiful mountains and rivers.

The film combines a beautiful musical score with odd pacing and clunky, witty humour that reminded me a bit of the Australian TV series Around The Twist. The film was really fun and a joy to watch.  

Hunt for the Wilderpeople is a beautiful film that explores themes about belonging, family and loyalty.

It runs for 101 minutes and is opening in select cinemas on May 26th

Review written by Ebony Beaton. 

Review read aloud by Lee Klein-Butler


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