“It can’t always be about laughter. Probably the best time to talk about the bad times is when everyone’s having a good time. “
The theme of domestic violence came through in films ‘Little girl’s war cry’ – which looked at family violence from the perspective of a young girl – and ‘Islands’, which features a woman who is in an oppressive relationship.
In addition to the six short films made by the teams who took part in the challenge, the Film Raro organisers screened a clip about being a kid in the Cooks – where local school students were put in front of the lens and asked questions about their lives.
While some questions and answers were light-hearted, one recurring answer was children saying they get sad when their family fights.
Wolfgramm said the film was a way for kids to talk about their views, on a platform where a lot of people would see it.
“I think kids all over the world deal with adult anger. And when do kids turn around and say, ‘I don’t like it when you fight?’ They don’t. It’s about giving them a voice. It’s not a message for kids, it’s a message for adults.”
Wolfgramm said family violence is a problem world-wide, and he did not think the content of these films would reflect negatively on the Cook Islands when screened at international film festivals.
“New Zealand had (film about family violence) ‘Once were Warriors’. Sure, some people might have thought that’s what New Zealand is always like – but it’s only a minority of people.”
The Film Raro screenings attracted thousands of people to the auditorium, and Wolfgramm said the level of interest in the event did not surprise him.
“The Vector Arena (in Auckland) fits 12,000, and I’ve filled that. We’ve been in this business long enough – we aimed to get the whole island there.”
Wolfgramm said he hopes to make Film Raro an annual event, as well as adding spin-off projects such as making local films, inviting international participants to screen films they’ve made elsewhere in the Cook Islands, or creating a reality TV show about the event.