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Kawa

3.9 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews

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(May 08, 2012)
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$13.16 & FREE Shipping on orders over $49. Details Only 1 left in stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Based on a novel by the creator of The Whale Rider A critically-acclaimed psychological drama depicting a family in crisis, Kawa tells the story of a successful businessman in New Zealand, as he is forced to reveal his lifelong secret that he is gay. Adapted from the Witi Ihimaera novel Nights in the Gardens of Spain by writer/director Katie Wolfe, Kawa stars Calvin Tuteao (Once Were Warriors), Nathalie Bolt (District 9), George Henare (Once Were Warriors), Vicki Haughton (Whale Rider) and Dean O Gorman (McLeod s Daughters). It is tradition that Kawariki (Calvin Tuteao) become the leader of the family now that his father is retiring. A husband and father, he realizes that in order to lead with integrity, he must come out and be honest about his own life, even though it will test the boundaries of acceptance and unconditional love. Offering valuable insights into Maori traditions, family ideals and cultural values, this feature debut is rich and textured with emotional layers and stunning New Zealand landscapes.

Review

Thoughtful work is well supported by cast, and packaging is attractive, from locations to soundtrack choices. VARIETY --Wolfe

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Calvin Tuteao, Nathalie Bolt, George Henare, Vicki Haughton, Dean O Gorman
  • Directors: Katie Wolfe
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Wolfe Video
  • DVD Release Date: May 8, 2012
  • Run Time: 77 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007HC8DX0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,644 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
This film is a 'comeing out' story of a married man that shows his progress from a life of desperite missery and lies to one of courage and honesty--and how this is not an easy road to travel.

A small budget film, it is beautifully directed, writen, acted, and filmed. The actors performances so on spot that that you can forget that your watching a 'performance' and start to feel that your watching real events from a fly on the wall perspective.
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I still can't get over what a 'find' this film was. I've never been to New Zealand, and the beautiful cities and seascapes alone were enough to give this film five stars! The story line was educational. I later did some research to better understand the Moari people. That info would have been helpful before watching the film actually. That added layer of obligation, and duty to his sense of origin would have made some parts of the movie easier to track. While they did offer us some subtitles during more intimate tribal converstaions there were still words used that made no sense to a yankee like me. The other thing I enjoy about foreign films is that they don't always tie everything up in a beautiful Tiffany box and bow. This movie is no exception. Life doesn't resolve itself in 2 hours. The movie challenged it's viewers to think about life choices, desires, and the realtiies of following your heart.
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Strongly acted, complex, resonant, and at times deeply moving, Kawa is one of the best movies of what has become, surprisingly perhaps, a now familiar genre in film and fiction, the coming out of a middle aged married man. Occasionally, it veers toward melodrama (weeping, angry recriminations, emotional explosions), but the film never veers into excess or unbelievability; each extreme moment is justified by genuine feeling.
In essence, Kawa is the story of the conflict within a man between the tradition to which he belongs and his need to be himself.

It is one of the oldest stories in the world, almost mythic in its implications, the struggle within a man between the world into which he is born and the new world he wishes to find on his own, here made "new," in a sense, by the fact that the central character is gay. What is striking about it is that the traditional world and its values are never caricatured or mocked or reduced. They are presented with the respect and honor that is due them.

Yet they are nonetheless to Kawa, as to others, also repressive. The struggle he confronts is real, deep, and meaningful. The movie is all the more powerful because of that.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
My partner and I enjoyed the movie modestly but it was ok. Not that different from other movies we have seen when an older man with wife and children fully realize that he was always gay form childhood but did not know how to express until later in life. There was not enough to the script or romane between him and the younger guy and nothing really juicy or interesting romance wise. Basically nothing memorable to talk about after seeing it. There should have been more to the plot.
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Overall this was an interesting and beautiful story, however it would have been helpful to know that its a ultimately a conflict that a homosexual male has in juggling his many social roles. Also, there's something about the movie that just didn't seem believable. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but it's almost as if this movie was created specifically for a 40-something, European white-collar gay male audience. And that's ok too...I guess know how manipulative and flat out deceptive cover art can be, didn' associate homosexuality with a man touching another man's chest, 'cause that's all you get. Maybe it's a cultural thing. UPDATE: At some time after my original review, the film description was updated to reflect that it is about a homosexual couple, though they really didn't seem that gay to me. There was nothing about the movie that seemed particularly gay.
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The film is of fine quality production values and talent all around. Kawa is a Maori man struggling with his decision to come out. He has a family he loves and a beautiful white boyfriend on the side. Otherwise he's a devoted family man but is unable to ignore his desires. He loves his family too much to leave them. He also has struggles with the power of his strong influential parents and his place as family heir. The story is that Kawa has lived a lie his whole life but has built a happy life regardless. Now he's confronted with the need to be his true self at the peril of his familial relationships and cultural ties.
The film introduces interesting themes but handles the storytelling a bit matter of factly. My emotional investment was held at bay, perhaps by a slow pace, obvious dialogue and handling of the conflicts. However, overall I enjoyed the film.
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Format: DVD
A somewhat typical film tale of a gay man coming to terms with his sexuality later in life, after long attempting to live the "normal" life that was expected of him. Nothing out of the ordinary there. The only thing that gives this story any additional appeal is the New Zealand setting and the chance to get brief glimpses into the traditional Maori culture. Unfortunately, those glimpses are all too brief to raise this film above the dozens and dozens of films that have already told this same coming out tale.
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