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Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

KAWA

This is an old fashioned coming-out story in which a
40 year old married man and father of two finally accepts his sexuality but by
trying so hard to please everyone, no-one ends up happy at all.  Based on an autobiographical novel by
acclaimed New Zealand novelist Witi
Ihumaera
(‘The
Whale Rider’
) that the author held back from publishing for 20 years
in deference to his young daughters, which in itself is a clue to how sad this
wee tale of repression is.
Set in Auckland, Kawa is the eldest son in a traditional
Maori family and has always been pressured by his father to follow in his
footsteps.  He now owns a large house,
has a great job with its own swanky corner office with views over the harbor,
and a wife who adores him.  The trouble
is since the age of twelve, Kawa has liked men. Even surrounded by all the
trappings of his success and with two children, he is very unhappy and without
giving his wife a reason, he rents an apartment and moves out of the family
home.
He has been seeing Chris, a very attractive young
actor, (hardly dating, as its sex then off home) and Chris is obviously in love
with him.  Kawa still cannot bring
himself to give up either his wife or his old life so he flits between Chris
and them until he gets found out and is forced to confront his family with the
truth.  The reality is that Kawa doesn’t
seem to know what or whom he wants even though he is loved by both of his
partners, and even his father comes around to his son’s sexuality in the end.
The pros of this movie is that there is a powerful
scene where Kawa’s father makes his son the official head of the family and all
the men do this overtly masculine traditional warrior dance.  And then is the stunning landscape of the
beautiful unspoilt New Zealand countryside and coast.
But that is really overshadowed by the  downside of the negativity where every scene
dealing with Kawa’s homosexuality portrays the gay scene as completely sad and
rather desperate.  The setting may be
contemporary Auckland but the gay community featured here is clearly from some
decades past.

★★★★


Posted by queerguru  at  17:06

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