Screened as part of NZIFF 2001

Hotere 2001

Directed by Merata Mita

82 minutes 35mm

Director, Screenplay

Production Co

Everard Films Ltd


Merata Mita
Eliza Bidois Owen


Kerry Brown


Rongotai Lomas


Dick Reade


In the seven years since Merata Mita, director of the landmark documentaries Patu! and Mana Waka, began her film about the famously reticent Ralph Hotere, acknowledgement of his significance within our culture has continued to grow – and so has his reticence. Mita describes her intentions in making the film as ‘in keeping with the way Hotere perceives his art’. We are delighted that she has promised us the première screenings of her long-awaited work. — BG

The film, Hotere, is rooted in the awareness and earthy wisdom of Ralph Hotere.

Ralph Hotere has confronted us with all manner of texture and material, on canvas, corrugated roofing iron, glass, stainless steel, through windows, with light and darkness, No 8 fencing wire, in installations, alone and in collaboration.

To many he is a visionary with his finger on the pulse. Like his art, he is a man of ambiguity, allegory, beauty and complexity. Natural and religious symbols, the contradictions between sacred and secular, dark and light, are underlying themes, which serve the prophetic and aesthetic functions of his work.

It is left to us to turn the key to the door of communication in his works, on rectangular frames of celluloid, illuminated by shafts of pure light flashing through his black, and colour. The film does not view Hotere through labels. And it does not deny the spectator’s right to respond, to challenge, to accept, to reject, to plumb the depths, to become involved. — Merata Mita

There are very few things I can say about my work that are better than saying nothing. — Ralph Hotere