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Poi E, the movie

Listen to the song on YouTube: Poi E

The movie is about one man – a musician, Dalvanius Prime – the Patea Maori Club and the song Poi E. It’s also about the revival of the Maori language. Dalvanius composed the song Poi E and the Patea Maori Club performed it. They performed it for the Queen at a royal concert in Scotland.

Patea is a small town of about 1,000 people on the West Coast of the North Island. In 1982, the Patea freezing works closed. This was a major disaster for the town as most people worked there. When the freezing works closed, there was no work for these people.

About this time, Dalvanius returned to Patea from Australia where he had been performing. He wrote the song Poi E for the Patea Maori Club. They wanted to perform it on TV1 but the TV producers said, “Where are the English words?” We do hear Maori on TV these days so perhaps things have changed a little since 1984.

The Patea Maori Club and the song Poi E became famous. Dalvanius also wanted to involve young people. The 1980s was the time of Michael Jackson and break dancing so Poi E had break dancers too.

The movie tells the story of how Poi E was recorded and became so popular. Some people say it should be our National Anthem. It’s a beautiful song and the Patea Maori Club perform it so well.

The movie opened in the NZ International Film Festival last month but it’s now showing in many cinemas throughout the country. It’s a movie that most people – including children – will enjoy.

Vocabulary

• Dalvanius Prime – the name of a musician
• Patea – the name of a small town
• revival – bringing back to life
• freezing works – meat works where animals are killed and the meat is frozen