White Lies Poster


White Lies Poster

Tuariki Huna
Thursday, March 2nd 7 PM

City of Asylum @ Alphabet City
40 West North Avenue, Pittsburgh, 15212

Free but Please RSVP
A Co-presentation of Sembène – The Film & Arts Festival and City of Asylum


A medicine woman – a giver of life – is asked to hide a secret which may protect one life but which will destroy another.

WHITE LIES (Tuariki Huna)

Written and directed by Dana Rotberg

Based on the novella ‘Medicine Woman’ by Witi Ihimaera.

Year:  2013       Country:  New Zealand     Length:  96 minutes

Language:  English and Maori with English subtitles

Official Trailer:                           Official Website:


New Zealand’s Official Selection for the Best Foreign Language Feature Film, 86th Academy Awards, 2014

Official Selection Toronto International Film Festival, 2013

Synopsis (Courtesy of South Pacific Pictures)

White Lies is 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.