In Jojo Rabbit, filmmaker Taika Waititi uses the tools of comedy filmmaking to make a potent statement about hatred and prejudice in the human race. Now, by joining the upcoming film Night Raiders as an executive producer, Waititi is continuing to use his considerable talents and growing clout to further other filmmakers’ engrossing statements. As reported by the Hollywood Reporter, Waititi joins a team including director Danis Goulet and stars Amanda Plummer, Elle-Maija Tailfeathers, Alex Tarrant, Brooklyn Letexier-Hart and Shaun Sipos.
Waititi, a native New Zealander, is of Māori heritage. Goulet, who’s directing her first feature film with Night Raiders, is a Canadian-based Native American filmmaker of the Cree tribe. And their film promises to center the underrepresented experiences of indigenous people in the oft-seen narrative tropes of the dystopian sci-fi thriller. After a futuristic war desolates certain areas of North America, the military asserts control and assumes children as property of the state. One Cree woman has enough, and joins a secret crew of vigilantes determined to break into a government-controlled children’s academy and rescue her daughter. Children of Men with a heist flavor, all from a perspective we rarely get to see in cinema? Sign us the heck up!
Goulet has made a series of award-winning, activistic short films before plunging into Night Raiders. Her works include Wakening, a 2013 dystopian-minded narrative short about a Cree woman trying to awaken the ancient Weetigo, a traditional Native American spirit, to help. That short played at both TIFF and Sundance, and likely helped Goulet fund Night Raiders. Additionally, Goulet’s star Tailfeathers is a filmmaker herself. She’s made independent shorts and features like The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open which combine oft-seen genres with potent metaphors about the experiences of indigenous people. The combination of these interests with the more traditional thrills of a sci-fi action flick sounds intriguing, and like the natural extension of Waititi’s own hard-to-pin-down interests.