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Tama Tū

18m Short, War 2004

Directed and Written by:
Taika Waititi

Six Maori Battalion soldiers wait for night to fall in the ruins of a ruined Italian home. Forced into silence they keep themselves amused like any boys would, with jokes and laughter. As they try and ignore the reminders of war around them, a tohu (sign) brings them back to the world of the dying.

They gather to say a karakia (prayer) to unite their spirits before they head back into the dark of war.

There have been numerous books written and documentaries made on the 28 (Maori) Battalion. Tama Tū is the first drama told of our men and that war. What’s more, it is not a typical, sombre war story. It captures the humour and heart of these soldiers as well as the tragedy of the time. It is a tribute to all of those soldiers of 28 Battalion who were lost and to the mana (status) and lives of those who were not. It is a film made by us for them that we now take to the world in their honour.


Tammy Davis (Soldier) , Taungaroa Emile (Soldier) , Jarod Rawiri (Soldier) , Mark Ruka (Soldier) , Jeremy Randerson (Soldier)


Taika Waititi


Taika Waititi


Cliff Curtis


Ainsley Gardner

Director of Photography

Adam Clark


Peter Burger

Production Designer

Kayne Horsham




New Zealand

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