White Lies

White Lies

White Lies

New Zealand period drama based on the novella Medicine Woman by Witi Ihimaera, author of The Whale Rider. Stars Whirimako Black, Rachel House and Antonia Prebble. More

Paraiti (Black) is the healer and midwife of her rural, tribal people. But new laws are in force prohibiting unlicensed healers. On a rare trip to the city, she is approached by Maraea (House), the servant of a wealthy woman, Rebecca (Prebble), who seeks her knowledge and assistance in order to hide a secret which will 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, forcing a clash of beliefs, deception and ultimate salvation.

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2013Rating: M, Violence and nudity95 minsNew Zealand
DramaHistorical

White Lies | Reviews

100%6 reviews

Rotten Tomatoes® Score

All reviews on Rotten Tomatoes
Flicks, Team

Flicks, Team

This atmospheric 1920s-set tale from Mexican writer-director Dana Rotberg (who made her home in New Zealand after seeing the 2002 adaptation of Witi Ihimaera’s Whale Rider) is essentially a chamber piece populated by three very good acting performances. Best known as a Maori recording artist, Whirimako Black is a revelation in her first film role, while Rachel House (Whale Rider) does the heavy emotional lifting and a porcelain and prim Antonia Prebble (TV’s The Blue Rose) does terse and tragic with equal aplomb.

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TVNZ

TVNZ

White Lies is a bit of a tough watch thanks to poor pacing.

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Stuff

Stuff

But for Black's performance, for Ihimaera's well-wrought plotting, and for Alun Bollinger's wonderful cinematography, White Lies is still a very easy film to recommend.

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New Zealand Herald

New Zealand Herald

The languorous pace comes close to dragging at times... There are also some jarringly implausible moments. Nonetheless, it's an impressive and memorable piece of work from our most prolific production house.

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Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

Cultural specificity and a quietly powerful central performance help overcome the missteps of Dana Rotberg's uneven drama.

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