NZ 2020
In English and Te Reo Māori, with English subtitles

A‌ ‌young‌ ‌trans‌ ‌activist, ‌‌Caz‌ ‌(Elz‌ ‌Carrad),‌ ‌breaks‌ ‌down‌ ‌into‌ ‌tears‌ ‌in‌ ‌front‌ ‌of‌ ‌a‌ ‌support‌ ‌group‌ ‌towards‌ ‌the‌ ‌start‌ ‌of‌ ‌‌Rūrangi‌.‌ ‌He‌ ‌doesn’t‌ ‌know‌ ‌how‌ ‌he‌ ‌can‌ ‌help‌ ‌the‌ ‌queer‌ ‌people‌ ‌in‌ ‌front‌ ‌of‌ ‌him,‌ ‌and‌ ‌feels‌ ‌entirely‌ ‌guilty,‌ ‌even‌ ‌shameful‌ ‌about‌ ‌that‌ ‌fact.‌ ‌Like‌ ‌many‌ ‌of‌ ‌our‌ ‌young‌ ‌queer‌ ‌people,‌ ‌he’s‌ ‌burned‌ ‌out‌ ‌not‌ ‌by‌ ‌his‌ ‌struggle,‌ ‌but‌ ‌by‌ ‌the‌ ‌struggle‌ ‌of‌ ‌those‌ ‌around‌ ‌him.‌ ‌Having fled his hometown of Rūrangi‌ to find himself, Caz returns ‌hoping‌ ‌to‌ ‌connect‌ ‌not‌‌ ‌just with‌ ‌his‌ ‌father‌ ‌(Kirk‌ ‌Torrance),‌ ‌who‌ ‌he‌ ‌left‌ ‌ten‌ ‌years‌ ‌ago,‌ ‌pre-transition,‌ but‌ ‌the‌ ‌small‌ ‌community‌ whose ‌residents are ‌having‌ ‌struggles of their own‌ ‌now‌ ‌as‌ ‌well.

Rūrangi‌ ‌‌is‌ ‌unapologetically‌ ‌frank‌ ‌and‌ ‌unapologetically‌ ‌queer, ‌with‌ ‌not‌ ‌just‌ ‌a‌ ‌strong‌ ‌ensemble‌ – ‌Ramon‌ ‌Te‌ ‌Heke,‌ ‌Arlo‌ ‌Green‌ ‌and‌ ‌Kirk‌ ‌Torrance‌ ‌being‌ ‌special‌ ‌standouts – ‌but‌ ‌a‌ ‌diverse,‌ ‌inclusive‌ ‌cast.‌ ‌But‌ ‌the‌ ‌calling‌ ‌card‌ ‌for‌ ‌the‌ web series, packaged here into a slick five-episode binge watch, is‌ ‌the‌ ‌searing‌ ‌screen‌ ‌debut‌ ‌of‌ ‌Elz‌ ‌Carrad.‌ ‌Carrad‌ ‌carries‌ ‌the‌ ‌entire‌ series ‌on‌ ‌his‌ ‌shoulders;‌ ‌he‌ ‌externalises,‌ ‌with‌ ‌detail‌ ‌and‌ ‌charisma,‌ ‌the‌ ‌struggles‌ ‌of‌ ‌a‌ ‌person‌ ‌stuck‌ ‌between‌ ‌wanting,‌ ‌nay,‌ needing,‌ ‌to‌ ‌talk‌ ‌about‌ ‌and‌ ‌express‌ ‌his‌ ‌own‌ ‌demons,‌ ‌but‌ ‌always‌ ‌caught‌ ‌dealing‌ ‌with‌ ‌the‌ ‌needs‌ ‌of‌ ‌others.‌ — Sam Brooks

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Last updated: 26 June 2020