Ngā mihi o te Kirihimete me te Tau Hou

We asked writers, activists and intellectuals to offer picks from their reading and watching this year for others over the summer.

Laura Toailoa


If Moana is the example of the commodification of Pacific cultures by a multibillion dollar multinational conglomerate, then Three Wise Cousins is in contrast, what happens when a Pacific film crew pull every last dollar together and hope there’s enough relatives between them to fill a hired-out cinema.


Three Wise Cousins directed by Stallone Vaiaoga-Ioasa (credited as “SQS”) premiered on Monday 21 December 2015. High ticket sales kept the movie in NZ cinemas for 5 and then took it to the Pacific, Australia, and the USA.


This hilarious movie follows one New Zealand Samoan’s journey to discover what it means to be a “Real Island Guy”. This is a movie explores the sense of belonging and identity in a very moving way, wrapped in comedic humour that I’d grown up with but hadn’t seen before on the big screen.


The off-the-cuff dialogue and perfectly timed visual comedy had me in fits of laughter, the brilliant soundtrack by Andrew Faleatua is perfect for the summertime and the moments of reflection had me looking inward to ask, am I a real island girl?


Laura Toailoa will be co-editor of Salient in 2017.

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