Tag Archives: Owen Black

The Legend of Baron To’a is Returning to Ringside Soon!

16 Sep

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Fantasia Film Festival 2020

Coming soon to:
Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival
October 15, 2020 at 12pm PT to 18th
Geolocked

For the latest screening updates, please visit TLoBT’s Facebook page.

The historical context nestled within The Legend of Baron To’a may well hide a deeper meaning. I found a lesson which speaks about early European-Tonga relations when New Zealand was being settled. No first encounter is ever perfect. This film’s introduction from two of the actors making an apology to the Royal Family and the Tonga suggests to viewers (who know the back history between these two nations) shouldn’t get offended in this satire.

Newcomers unfamiliar with this country will get an interpretation based on how a gang of ruffians can disrupt life in the suburbs. Thankfully, it only stretches a block or two. John Argall and Owen Black’s take had a context director Kiel McNaughton must have liked. When the Europeans first landed, the relationship between the Māori were largely amicable. But as land was sold and traded, tensions rose. Just how this relates to the Tonga isn’t fully clear, though it’s easy to assume Baron To’a’s name borrows from and plays with how to represent this sovereign nation.

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