Based on a novel by Whale Rider writer Witi Ihimaera, White Lies – New Zealand’s entry in the 2014 Oscar competition for best foreign-language film – is an intense drama that explores with great humanity and sensitivity such difficult topics as race relations, skin bleaching and abortion. Paraiti is the healer and midwife of her rural, Maori people – she believes in life. But new laws in force are prohibiting unlicensed healers, making the practice of much Maori medicine illegal. She gets approached by Maraea, the servant of a wealthy woman, Rebecca, who seeks her knowledge and assistance in order to hide a secret which could destroy Rebecca’s position in European settler society. This compelling story tackles moral dilemmas, exploring the nature of identity, societal attitudes to the roles of women and the tension between Western and traditional Maori medicine.
A large diversity of ethnic groups existed when Europeans arrived in Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, and other countries. Their arrival was part of a plan of conquering lands, accumulating riches, and subjugating peoples.