Raised on hip-hop and foster care, defiant city kid Ricky gets a fresh start in the New Zealand countryside. He quickly finds himself at home with his new foster family: the loving Aunt Bella, the grumpy Uncle Hec, and dog Tupac. When a tragedy strikes that threatens to ship Ricky to another home, both he and Hec go on the run in the bush. As a national manhunt ensues, the newly branded outlaws must assess their options: go out in a blaze of glory or overcome their differences and survive as a family. A hilarious, touching crowd-pleaser directed by Taika Waititi (What We Do in the Shadows,Thor: Ragnarok) and starring Sam Neill, Julian Dennison and Rhys Darby (TV’s Flight of the Conchords).
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This is a great story of a kid, helplessly at the mercy of the social welfare system, who finds, at long last, some hope and a willing reception in unusual circumstances. Unfortunately the woman of the house dies soon after the beginning of the film, a crisis which both enables the boy and his "uncle" to finally find the space to create a bond together, at the same time as highlighting the lack of legitimacy men are given by society in general with children, and the reluctance to allow men and children to find the mutual love and bonds that are necessary if ever the other deeper issues of alienation from family life are ever going to be addressed in Western society. This is an endemic problem in the way we bring up our children in the West, and the unstated presence of Moari sensibilities and spirit that backdrops this film confims that. This must see film would be particularly useful for social workers, law enforcement, and family lawyers, judges and anyone else charged with the demanding tasks of having to protect the best interests of children, an often banded concept, though usually, unfortunately, this is code for protecting and politicising existing power relations in society.
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