Flying Fox in a Freedom Tree (1989)

Genres - Drama  |   Countries - New Zealand  |  
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For people born into non-Western cultures, even if they have been "modern" for many generations, finding one's inner ground can be a difficult process. In this story by first-time director Martyn Sanderson (better known for his acting in Australian and New Zealand action/adventure movies), a young man comes to grips with his Samoan background in the context of the demands placed on him by modern life. The story is based on the novel Flying Fox In A Freedom Tree by Albert Wendt. Pepe (Faifua Amiga, Jr.) is interested in the old culture, and his place in it. His father is purely concerned that he should adapt to the present day, and Pepe is forced to look elsewhere for guidance and inspiration. One of his role-models is an unlikely half-breed, the dwarf Tagata (Richard von Surmer), who, like the flying fox, seeks opportunity where he finds it. Another inspiration is the high chief Toasa, who teaches Pepe the genealogical lists he needs to know in order to assume his full place in Samoan society.

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Keywords

father, half-breed, Samoan, village