Topic: Rereātea - Midday News

Kiwi director focuses on suicide in new short-film

By Jessica Tyson

Kiwi director Mike Murphy of Ngāti Porou has tackled teen suicide and racial stereotyping of young Māori in a new short film.

Four Months Four Seconds features a teenager Harry who tries to find a way out after witnessing his parents' marriage fall apart.

Two of Harry's friends, including a Māori boy named Sim, come to the rescue.

Murphy says young people are faced with challenges that they often aren't fully equipped to deal with alone.

“Often its friends who know what's going on and in some cases they're the ones offering the advice.”

The director also says the casting of Sim was to show not all young Māori come from “loveless, poverty-stricken lives”.

“The reality is many Māori come from loving homes with supportive families – even those who are from poorer areas,” says Murphy.

“We’re not all at decile one schools with no future. Let’s see more of that reflected on film.”

In Four Months Four Seconds Murphy took the guerrilla filmmaking to its extreme, doing everything from writing the script to filming, sound, special effects and editing.

“I just had a handy cam with internal camera sound, so no, it’s not perfect! I wanted to see what I could achieve with very little.”