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White Lies (2013 New Zealand film)

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Genre  Drama
Running time  1h 36m
6.4/10 IMDb

Director  Dana Rotberg
Music director  John Psathas
White Lies (2013 New Zealand film) movie poster

Writer  Dana Rotberg (screenplay), Witi Ihimaera (novel), Jo Johnson (script development), Timothy Balme (script development)
Initial release  June 27, 2013 (New Zealand)
Screenplay  Dana Rotberg, Tim Balme, Jo Johnson
Cast  Whirimako Black (Paraiti), Rachel House (Maraea), Antonia Prebble (Rebecca), Nancy Brunning (Horiana), Te Waimarie Kessell (Aroha), Kohuorangi Ta Whara (Wirepa)
Similar movies  Witi Ihimaera wrote the story for White Lies and Whale Rider, Alex (1992), Crooked Earth (2001), Once Were Warriors (1994), Leave All Fair (1985)

White lies 2013 official trailer

White Lies is a 2013 New Zealand film directed by Dana Rotberg, based on the Witi Ihimaera novel, Medicine Woman. The film stars Whirimako Black, Antonia Prebble, and Rachel House. The film premiered in New Zealand cinemas on 27 June 2013. It was screened in the Contemporary World Cinema section at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. The film was selected as the New Zealand entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards, but it was not nominated.


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From singer songwriter to lead actress in white lies


White Lies is a story about the nature of identity: those who deny it and those who strive to protect it. Paraiti (Whirimako Black) is a medicine woman. She is the healer and midwife of her rural, tribal people - she believes in life. But new laws are in force prohibiting unlicensed healers. On a rare trip to the city, she is approached by Maraea (Rachel House), the servant of a wealthy woman, Rebecca (Antonia Prebble), who seeks her knowledge and assistance in order to hide a secret which could destroy Rebecca's position in European settler society. If the secret is uncovered a life may be lost, but hiding it may also have fatal consequences. So Paraiti, Maraea and Rebecca become players in a head on clash of beliefs, deception and ultimate salvation.

The book White Lies

Witi Ihimaera, the author of the book drew on the life of Anglo-Indian actress Merle Oberon, and the hiding of her true ethnic origin. Not only did she have Sri Lankan ancestry, she also had Maori ancestry.


  • Whirimako Black as Paraiti
  • Rachel House as Maraea
  • Antonia Prebble as Rebecca
  • Nancy Brunning as Horiana
  • Te Waimarie Kessell as Aroha
  • Kohuorangi Ta Whara as Wirepa
  • Elizabeth Hawthorne as Hospital Matron
  • Te Ahurei Rakuraku as young Paraiti
  • Tahuri o te Rangi Trainor Tait as Paraiti's Grandfather
  • Kyle Pryor as Soldier
  • Rawiri Waiariki as Horiana's Grandchild
  • Te Whenua Te Kurapa as Pirimahana
  • Tangiroa Tawhara as Woman with Bad Leg
  • Vanessa Paraki as Limping Girl
  • Phil Peleton as Chemist
  • References

    White Lies (2013 New Zealand film) Wikipedia
    White Lies (2013 New Zealand film) IMDb White Lies (2013 New Zealand film)