Barry Barclay: the Reflection of Maori and Pakeha Identities

Author: Hilal, Emad Jabbar

Date: 2017

Publisher: University of Waikato

Type: Thesis

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University of Waikato


This Media and Screen Studies thesis tries to investigate the identifications of Barry Barclay (1944-2008) - a New Zealand filmmaker, thinker and poet, of Māori and Pākeha ethnic background - who identified as Māori in the second part of his career, in the mid 1970s. The thesis relies on Barclay's writing and other historical and theoretical material in the reading of his own films. The thesis arrives at an argument that even when Barclay chose to identify more with the Māori side of his identity, the Pākeha side took part also in the shaping of his film practices. Studying Barry Barclay along this line of argument has several benefits for Screen Studies. It, on the one hand, covers what is left unstudied by the scholarship concerning his representation of the Māori world such as the way he commented on Māori cultural and social concerns and acheivements in his films. The thesis studies Barclay's films from the time he started his identification with his Māori side in Tangaata Whenua (1974), Te Urewera (1987), Ngati (1987),Te Rua (1991) and takes The Kaipara Affair (2005) as a case study and a carrier of change in film practices and development in outlook.The other important contribution is the way he represented Pākeha, and how he developed his representation of them in time. This representation which is unstudied at all, is important to Screen Studies becuase it contributes to Barclay's theory of Fourth Cinema. This thesis shows how representing Pakeha, especially in Barclay's last film problemematizes his theory of Fourth Cinema, but ultimately, deals with applies it creatively. The representation of Pākeha gives insight into Barclay's interest in the Māori world, which is not a dogma or a merely ethnic affiliation as much as an attraction to a world-view that can solve major universal issues such as environmental problems. Above all, the way how Barclay worked out this representation in his films sheds light on one of the important examples of how film can take part in healing social damages such as the history of colonizing and marginalization of Māori people.

Subjects: emad

Citation: ["Hilal, E. J. (2017). Barry Barclay: the Reflection of Maori and Pakeha Identities (Thesis, Master of Arts (MA)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from"]

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