Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Boy - the movie

a couple of weeks ago a friend and i went to see the movie, Boy.
let me just say, i always find it fantastically refreshing to see "home" on the big screen instead of that recognisable, but personally unfamiliar, hollywood guff we usually must watch.
it was hilarious, but heart-breaking. i wondered if those watching it in cinemas overseas would be chortling at the things our audience chortled at - or, if they'd be "awww"-ing in pity? (or..if they'd even be able to understand the accents??!!)

this movie resonated with me, not just because i'm a kiwi but because i grew up in a very small (fantastic!) community on the west coast of new zealand. in the shadow of the Tainui waka's resting place. Specifically Waiharakeke (but then, every corner has it's own name, so maybe i should say Kinohaku or Hauturu, or near-Kawhia).

if there is any place that screams out home to me, it is this harbour inlet and these hills.
they are as much a part of me as my own brothers and sisters.

i grew up not realising words like e hoa (friend), pito (belly button), tutu ("mischevious fingers"), patero (pass wind), potae (hat), tito (telling lies) etc weren’t english words.
I went to school with a roll of around 25. and we either wore barefeet, jandals or gumboots. there were 2 teachers – one for the Junior Room, one for the Senior Room. the teachers were a husband and wife team.
i went to school with maori kids who had names like :
Poto (short),
Nigs (short for…well, yanno),
Bugs (short for Bugaloo),
Lorne (rumour has it he was born on the ‘lawn’, this is unconfirmed)…
and in fact, our local electrician was called Boy.
i never once thought any of these names were odd or unusual, until a few years after i’d left and gone off to boarding school (there’s another blog entry – or 3 – right there!) and some fresh-grad from the city began teaching at our little country school decided that it was entirely inappropriate to call a child Mumma and so, made everyone call her by her real name, Diana, from then on.
maybe she was right, but everything seemed to change with that awareness.
i began noticing differences. and with age the differences seem to grow like great big walls that i struggle to find ways around.
i miss those days of seeing the people first instead of the differences.
bah, adulthood.


  1. wow, what a great story! Thank you for sharing!


  2. I saw this movie a couple of week ago too, I grew up in Invercargill, but was 7 in 1984, the wee brother Rocky was the same age as me and that they lost their mum resonated with me too as the date on the grave were similar ages to my own mum.

    Its an awesome movie, a definite must see

  3. Im a kiwi and I would love to see this movie, but dont know if it will be shown in movies theatres here (australia)


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