“What do i do for a living? i live for a living.”

This Way of Life (2010)
this way of life (2009)

This way of life made the 2011 oscar documentary long list. Gorgeous scenery in the ruahine mountains aside, the karenas have so much character and charisma. It’s quite a visceral thrill seeing them weave a loving vortex based on love and grace with their family and how they live. Watch how their kids deal with a fallen tooth, a fall from a horse, their burnt-down house.

Easily one could write the subject matter off as alternative woowoo, but the film never tries to convert. There was no crew other than the two filmmakers, who shot the film over four years. Watching the movie feels like an expansion on multi-levels, witnessing the relationship itself between filmmaker and subject unfold, and your realisations paralleling the filmmaker’s own.

After this, i rewatched the trailer wondering what’d sparked my interest in this unassuming documentary. I found every word to ring true–how can you resist that?

While you get the dvd, there’s a 3-part interview with the filmmakers as well.


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