Bastion Point Day 507

Bastion Point Day 507

  • New Zealand
  • 26
  • PG
  • Merata Mita
  • Leon Narbey
  • Gerd Pohlmann

Bastion Point is a coastal region in Aotearoa (New Zealand) that was the focus of a long-running land dispute between the government and the Ngāti Whātua Māori people of the area. Documenting the final day of Māori protests there, Merata Mita focuses her camera on the stalwart resistance of the protesters as police and army forces evict them. In what would become a watershed moment for the Māori protest movement, over 600 police arrested more than 200 members of the community. It was a provocative show of state force, carefully captured by Mita and made all the more powerful by the trust she had built spending time with the protestors in the 506 days leading up to the final aggressive act of eviction. Shane Smith

A passionate advocate for Māori creative control, late director Merata Mita (1942–2010) documented some of the most controversial events of Aotearoa’s last 50 years. Mita’s work includes Patu!, a documentary on the 1981 Springbok tour. Her 1988 drama Mauri remains only the second fiction feature directed by a Māori woman.

Film courtesy of Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision.

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