NZIFF’s highlights – One Doco: Belief, The Possession of Janet Moses

I chose to watch lots of Kiwi movies. Most of them were so interesting, they gave you different points of views on the country, and they let you understand how they construct films and thoughts. The documentary screenings were also intense moments because most of the time the people related to the subject were there: in Ever the Land, someone started a Maori song just behind my seat, and many others followed. I wish I could have understood the lyrics, to better understand the situation but the song appears as a gift, a sacred moment out of the time, out of the intellect.

Belief, the Possession of Janet Moses was such a shock screening. Creepy atmosphere. I didn’t really understand before what the film was about, I was just curious about the title maybe? Anyway, the movie is hard to watch, the re-enactment impressive

Still, when you don’t believe, what you’re watching seems to be the acts of a sect.

“what if I don’t believe in it?” asked a woman during the Q&A. We all believe in different things answered the director. Yes, true. but even if the re-enactment was incredible, the actors exceptional etc I cannot help myself to judge what they did. But it’s true that within several minutes, I kind of understood the family, their fears, their obsession, but I was


Emmy award winning director David Stubbs who grew up in Wainuiomata says “This film is for Janet, At the foremost of my mind was what Janet would want from it –and in the end I believed she’d eant viewers to know her whānau loved her and she loved them back.”

who believed she had fallen under a makutu mākutu lifting tragedy of 2007

NZIFF: DAY 3 yesterday – KIWI FILM – *BELIEF, THE POSSESSION OF JANET MOSES* was a too intense screening to talk about it immediately after. Full auditorium in presence of the director, David Stubbs, many actors and lots of people that had been directly or indirectly touched by this story.

The crime happened in Wellington’s suburb Wainuomata some years ago:
Janet Moses has been founded drawn after her family suspected her to be cursed by a makutu. They believed she was possessed by a demon.

Enlightening & necessary Q&A: you cannot walk back home alone after a film like this. It raises too many questions. It makes you reconsider your own belief system.

The deliberated empathy that David Stubbs takes for the family won’t please to everyone. His film is a call for dialogue and reconciliation. But to him, documentary filmmakers are not here to judge. He wanted to describe the family’s truth. He did it, very well.

Sally Welly

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