The last light of a cold winter’s day sees Isaac, a 17-year old boy, traversing the vacuum of industrial wasteland and empty suburbia.
Meanwhile a young mother worships in the warm sphere of a Sikh Gurdwara; her husband Navraj stuck working at the local liquor store.
Two young police officers kill time driving the beat, an ambulance glides into the gloaming past a group of young girls who wander in search of alcohol and something to do.
The descent into darkness brings these disparate characters together when Isaac shoots Navraj during a violent hold-up.
Tragically, they are both connected on parallel journeys towards equally dark fates.
“Manurewa” is based on a real murder of a South Auckland liquor store owner in 2008.
Navtej Singh bled to death while the police and ambulance waited outside; hamstrung by bureaucracy. Meanwhile the public walked in and out of the store without helping; some even stealing alcohol.
The film doesn’t form its own conclusions, but it leaves a lot of questions to walk away with.
“Manurewa” was self funded by the filmmakers and relied on the generous support of sponsors FUJI FILM New Zealand, Panavision New Zealand and Park Road Post.
The film was shot on 35mm with a skeleton crew, utilizing available light as much as possible. It was shot on location in South Auckland and features mostly non actors. The film was made with the blessing of the Sikh community and the family of the victim.