Patu!

Movies, Documentary
A record of the anti-apartheid protests against the South Africans' 1981 rugby union tour of New Zealand. The received image of the country as a land in which harmonious interracial relationships have been worked out is profoundly undermined by this documentary (its director is a Maori woman; its title is a Maori word for 'kill' or 'hit'). Their police, looking identical to the British copper, turn out to be expert at cracking the skulls of unarmed, peaceful protesters as the extent and determination of the protests increase (it comes as a relief when they eventually don crash helmets). And the sport itself is represented not by players, but by supporters who are rampantly racist (they really do say 'Would you want your sister to marry one?'). As a record of mobilisation of public opinion in the face of immense propaganda (through the collusion of the media with Muldoon's right wing government in misrepresenting the aims of the protest), it's a wholly successful and convincing tribute.

By: GBr

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Cast and crew

Director: Merata Mita