Māori Boy Genius

Maori Boy Genius - Awards

Obama broke the mould. And a teenager in New Zealand is breaking the mould to eventually stand in history with such a leader.

MĀORI BOY GENIUS is a coming-of-age film profiling 16 year-old Ngaa Rauuira Pumanawawhiti, railing against his people’s statistics of uneducated youth, prisons, gangs and alarming suicide rates. At 4 he learnt English. At 12 he began his first university degree. At 14 he googled international politics and up came Yale University.

What if you could turn back the clock and watch the minds forming of those who would create political zeitgeist shifts in the future? MĀORI BOY GENIUS does just that.

Ngaa posseses spirituality and charisma.   Among his people he is being hailed as a new leader for this confused and troubled age, a visionary who can directly tap into the wisdom of his ancestors.

He’s also a goofy, gangling 16 year-old Māori boy who loves to hang out with his mates; watching his best friend Riwai –  already a dad at 17 –  practise his old school popping-and-locking dance moves, eating meat pies in his friend Daniel’s car.

“But his real interest is human rights,” his mother Maakarita says: “He’s been talking that way since he was 10.”

One of Ngaa’s favourite quotes: “We must always take sides.  Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.  Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

Ngaa’s name is based on an old tribal (Tuhoe) saying: “He uira ki te rangi he tauira ki te whenua….Like lightning in the sky, here is an example on earth.”

But it is Ngaa’s grandmother who gently notes: “He’s a Matakite, a wiseman.  But really he’s just a boy.”