Tubi is opening the world to you with this film, which comes from New Zealand director Tearepa Kahi. It’s based on the 2007 New Zealand police raids, a series of armed police raids in response to alleged paramilitary training camps in the Urewera mountain range. More than three hundred police officers went on these raids, which led to them seizing four guns and 230 rounds of ammunition and arresting eighteen people. At a cost of $8 million dollars in New Zealand money, only four of those people to trial and hundreds of people protested the waste and police militarization that led to this two-day raid. Years later, politicians admitted that innocent people “were unnecessarily frightened and intimidated” and seven years later, the police commissioner formally apologized to the Ruatoki community for police actions during the raid.
In this film, the Maori community and the armed forces come into conflict when the Maori are believed to be domestic terrorists. One of the police in the region, Taffy (Cliff Curtis), has just come back home hoping for a quieter life. He’s caught between the law and what’s right.
As the raids start to happen, activists like Tame Iti (beyond being an actor, he was a member of the protest group Ngā Tamatoa in 1970s Auckland and is a key figure of the Māori protest movement) have been training their people to use weapons and fight. Who can blame them, seeing how they’ve been treated historically? Iti was actually one of the men jailed in the 2007 raids and spent nine months in prison before being released.
This is a tense thriller and shows that no matter you go in the world, you will find universal issues with those in authority overstepping and hurting marginalized people. I’m excited that in addition to Lifetime and BET style films that Tubi’s originals are seeking out movies like this and Riding With Sugar.
You can watch this on Tubi.