The River Is Me

For many years, the ownership of the Whanganui River in New Zealand was under dispute between the Kiwi government and the Maori people, who consider the river sacred. Now, however, it owns itself. In what’s believed to be a first, the river has been granted legal personhood, with the same rights and responsibilities as you and me. But determining where a river ends and the rest of nature begins —well, that may be up for some debate.

Director(s): David Freid
Production: Emmy Gyori
Actors: Chris Finlayson, Geoffrey Hipango, Donald McGhee, Gerrard Albert
Year: 2018
Duration: 17 min
Our age recommendation: 13
Language (audio): English
Language (subtitles): German, French, English, Spanish, Russian
Country of origin: New Zealand
Shooting Locations: New Zealand
Screening rights: MEL Films ()
  • This film can be watched for free at the top.


Main topic(s): Water
Secondary topics: politics spirituality water cycle
Mentions: rights indigenous Maori personhood conservation Pachamama river pacha mama
Topic Page(s): Water

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