New Zealand, 2011, 76 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Coming Out, Gay, Native American / Indigenous, Pacific Islander, Parenting / Family
Program: World Cinema

DIRECTOR: Katie Wolfe

Expected Guests: director Katie Wolfe and author Witi Ihimaera

Following the heartbreaking, sexually charged novel Nights in the Gardens of Spain by award-winning author Witi Ihimaera (Whale Rider), Kawa is the story of a family man coming out for the first time in the Maori world, where the ties that bind are tight and the responsibilities of family extend well beyond just one generation.

His marriage on the rocks, handsome Kawa lives out of a hotel, spending his days under fire at the office and his nights at a local steam room where he has anonymous sex with men. Annabelle, his wife, vaguely suspects the involvement of another woman but stifles the notion in an attempt to keep their family intact.

Feeling guilty and isolated from his children, Kawa puts on a brave face and returns to his family in time to visit his aging father and be passed the Kahu huruhuru (a feathered cloak), a symbol that the time has come for him to lead the family. Just as his family life reaches a shaky equilibrium, Kawa's elderly mother spots him bidding farewell to a former lover in secret, and her silent scorn prompts him to reveal his true identity to his family—and live with the fallout that follows.

This story thrives on the big screen thanks to breathtaking views of New Zealand's beautiful landscape, as the nuanced direction of Katie Wolfe deftly illuminates the loss and liberation that accompanies coming out with a family in tow. — JACKSON SCARLETT

Text Voting Code: F122

Co-presented by:

Gay Asian Pacific Alliance


Alta Bates Summit Medical Center

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