The Mountain

NZ release: 28 March 2024

Parental guidance is recommended for younger viewers Rated on: 27 March 2024

Te Maunga

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What’s it about?

The Mountain follows the journey of three newly connected tamariki. Eleven-year-old Sam believes wholeheartedly that her maunga, Mt Taranaki, will cure her illness and connect her to the whakapapa she longs for. She meets two accomplices along the way. Together, this perfectly imperfect trio experience the kind of friendship that changes your life forever.

The facts

  • Director Rachel House
  • English and te Reo Māori
  • Runtime 89 minutes
  • Filmed in Taranaki, New Zealand

Why did it get this rating?

This film was rated by the Film and Video Labelling Body.

A rating of PG means parental guidance is recommended for younger viewers. This film is suitable for all ages but we have noted some themes to be aware of.

Content that may disturb

The film follows three 11-year-old children on a coming-of-age journey that involves running away and going bush without adults. Along the way they encounter mildly dangerous situations such as crossing a swing bridge that has been closed for repair, lighting a fire, and sleeping outdoors. The characters look out for each other in a supportive and positive way.

The main character is in denial about her cancer diagnosis and escapes from hospital to fulfil her dream to climb Mt Taranaki. While cancer is mentioned, this is delicately handled. The main character doesn’t appear very unwell. We see her out of breath while walking, and later lying in bed. Another character mentions losing their mother to cancer. For younger viewers they may not understand the seriousness of the illness, unless they have been impacted by cancer in their own lives.

The adults in the film are flawed characters with good hearts. Gentle parenting is demonstrated by each of the caregivers in subtle ways. The parents also experience their own coming-of-age journey to accept that their rangatahi are growing up and have found a new sense of confidence and independence through their friendship.

This is a film that we encourage whānau to watch together and talk about how what we see on screen can make us think and feel – especially when it comes to big topics like connection to our ancestors, illness and death.

Further information

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