Senses of Cinema review: New Zealand Cinema: Interpreting the Past
Reviewer: James Bennett

'Overall, this is a rich collection of essays on New Zealand film, history and identity and one that is well overdue. It serves as both a provocation for further film-based research, as well as an inspiration to those who seek to tease out the rich multilayered textures of its boundary crossings. The volume is generously illustrated and includes some excellent images garnered from such sources as the New Zealand Film Archive and Archives New Zealand. The filmography included at the back of the book, divided into the primary films discussed and other films cited, is a useful referencing device and a nice complement to the bibliography. Appropriately, this volume is dedicated to the memory of Mereta Mita (who died in 2010), and whose role in Fourth Cinema (Barry Barclay’s term for “cinema made by Indigenous peoples with a kind of Indigenous essence”) was highly significant. New Zealand Cinema: Interpreting the Past will be an important reference work for some time to come and a benchmark for other settler societies that seek to open up colonial history to greater scrutiny through visual media.'

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