This essay offers an analysis of Waru, an omnibus film written and directed by a sisterhood of nine Māori women, which illuminates a philosophy of Māori women's filmmaking and indicates new possibilities for a global Indigenous cinema. In the two decades since Māori filmmaker Barry Barclay declared the existence of a “fourth cinema,” the cinema of Indigenous peoples, the number of dramatic feature films by Indigenous directors around the globe has grown significantly, with particular attention garnered by the success of Māori filmmaker Taika Waititi. Yet, while it would be tempting to declare that Barclay's onetime ideal of a flourishing Indigenous cinema “outside the national orthodoxy” has been achieved, Māori women continue to be marginalized in the film industry. As many critics have noted, Merata Mita's Mauri (1988) remained the only dramatic feature film to be written and directed by a Māori woman for almost thirty years. That finally changed in 2017 with Waru. Drawing from the growing body of scholarship on mana wahine, often referred to as Māori feminism, by Ngahuia Te Awekotuku, Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Aroha Yates‐Smith, Naomi Simmonds, and Leonie Pihama, this essay argues that Waru's filmmakers recenter mana wahine to devise a new cinematic framework that is simultaneously Indigenous and feminist to enable Māori women to contribute not only to the fourth cinema envisioned by Barclay but also to a feminist fourth cinema grounded in values specific to Māori women.

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