Kiwi produced dramatic motion pictures have always intrigued Australian audiences, notably because of their culturally diverse themes and dramatic elements.
Cousins is their latest offering, adapted from the classic novel penned by the highly praised Maori author Patricia Grace.
The story centers on three young female indigenous cousins who are separated shortly after World War II, one ‘stolen’ and forced to live in an orphanage and later on in the white community. Detailed are the hardships they encounter as the years go by, wondering whether they will ever be reunited.
The story unfolds in a non-linear format, flashbacks revealing their turbulent experiences as children and the further tragedies that await them as they journey through to adulthood.
Performances from a predominantly indigenous cast and significantly the remarkable portrayals by the younger three child performers are nothing short of brilliant.
Relatable themes of family relationships, the stolen generation, racial discrimination, and the social injustices of ‘white man’s law’ upon the Maoris resonate profoundly, ensuing a poignant, thought provoking and provocative film that should stay with audiences long after leaving the cinema.