“People go or die — your land, that’s where you belong,” we’re told in a new trailer for “Cousins.” The drama is based on Patricia Grace’s novel of the same name and tells the story of three Maori cousins: Mata, Missy, and Makarita.
It follows the trio of “cousins” from childhood to adulthood. When Mata was taken away from her family, she was told, “We’ll take you back, Mata. I promise.” The emotional reunion of cousins takes years.
Te Ao Marama Baker, Te Raukura Gray, Ana Scotney, and Tanea Heke portray Matta at different stages of her life. Keyahne Patrick Williams, Rachel House, and Hariata Moriarty portray Messi, Shannon Williams, Mihi T Rohi Daniels, Tyur Ngatay Melbourne and Briar Grace Smith play Macarita.
One of the best New Zealand films of 2021, directed by Maori director duo Ainsley Gardiner and Briar Grace Smith, it made its debut at the 2021 Mauritiland Film Festival, where it won the People’s Choice Award for Best Narrative Drama.
Gardiner previously co-directed “Waru,” an anthology film entirely directed by Maori female filmmakers.
“Cousins” will be released on Netflix on July 22.