The Waimate Conspiracy

This is an extremely entertaining and obviously no-budget mockumentary about a fictional land rights claim in the town of Waimate, New Zealand. The Maori locals have been fighting for decades to regain their land, which they believe they were forcefully removed from in a bloody battle back in 1866. Unfortunately, when they take their views to the courtroom, they have no evidence to back them up, and their court claim is rejected. However, they decided to appeal the decision after they find a supposed 138 year old cannonball buried in a paddock, which they believe confirms their case. Just when they think they’ve finally got everything sorted, the cannonball goes missing, and they are forced to come up with some new evidence. This film is basically a war between the Maori locals and an evil farmer who currently has ownership of the land and isn’t afraid to do anything he can to make sure it stays under his name. All of this action, including interviews with other locals is captured by Dave, a documentary filmmaker, who takes you along this hilarious journey. This film is a mixture between Kenny and The Castle. Every single character is completely eccentric, and tremendously funny. The Maori people will do everything in their power to try and get their land back – even if it means breaking all the rules. The production values of this film are horrible – it’s very much a no-budget documentary, shot on a handycam – but the people and the script are so perfect, that it really doesn’t matter. This film treats a normally controversial topic with a very new and very funny angle. Although there are some moments in the movie which are painful to watch (simply because the characters are so nutty – kind of like The Office), most of the time you simply can’t look away and stop laughing. Overall, this is a pretty good movie considering – although I’m sure with a slightly bigger budget, some more jokes and funny moments could have been thrown in.

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