HomeMaori AmericanMaori Director Bringing Indigenous Polynesian People to the Forefront of Thor: Ragnarok

Maori Director Bringing Indigenous Polynesian People to the Forefront of Thor: Ragnarok

Taika Waititi and Chris Hemsworth speaking at the 2017 San Diego Comic Con International, for “Thor: Ragnarok”, at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California. Photo by Gage Skidmore.

Marvel’s newest adventure, Thor: Ragnarok, opens this weekend with a shout out to the indigenous Polynesian People of New Zealand.

According to Forward, New Zealand director Taika Waititi is of Russian Jewish and Maori descent, and he’s giving tribute to his heritage in his films. Growing up in Waihau Bay, Waititi has had his work featured at Sundance and the Oscars. But now, he’s a hot topic because of his work for Thor: Ragnarok.

Waititi revealed to  Mashable that he threw multiple “Easter eggs”, or in-movie references, to New Zealand and Aboriginal peoples. A spaceship appearing in the film wears the Aboriginal flag colors. Waititi also made sure that the crew was diverse. Indigenous Australian and Māori actors performed in roles. Shari Sebbens and Steven Oliver numbered among them.

He also had the local indigenous community bless their first day of production and even invited local Indigenous interns (with help from Screen Australia’s Indigenous Department) on set to get a first-look at moviemaking magic.

As Taika Waititi wisely states: “The films I like to watch are when they make it relatable to human audiences.” And this is likely to be a highly relatable movie for the global Indigenous community.


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