Ever the Land
Directed by Sarah Grohnert
People, culture, and the environment — these are the elements most valued by Ngāi Tūhoe, a Maori tribe in New Zealand. With understated grit and subtlety, EVER THE LAND lushly documents the tribe’s landmark construction of a sustainable “living building” called Te Uru Taumatua. The film documents the project all the way through, from design and construction to its completion. More importantly, it is an intimate look at life in the Tūhoe community as well as its troubled history of colonization. As the Te Uru Taumatua was under construction, the Tūhoe sought a formal apology and settlement from the New Zealand government for the devastating consequences of having their lands taken away.
As the dark past is confronted, the tribe manages to preserve and persevere through its storytelling and architecture. Quiet yet majestic scenic shots by director/writer Sarah Grohnert make EVER THE LAND as stunning visually as it is in story and its subjects. The earthly documentary will be of particular interest to environmentalists and social issue/history enthusiasts. However, it is a should-watch for anyone who treasures the ground they walk on.
— Karen Datangel
Co-presented by: San Francisco Green Film Fest
Writer/Cinematographer: Sarah Grohnert
Producer: Alexander Behse
Editor: Prisca Bouchet
Sound: Nick Buckton