Exegesis and screenplay for a film entitled Mangrove

Melville, Andrew
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Master of Arts in Communication Studies
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Auckland University of Technology

The film script Mangrove is both an eco-warrior thriller with science fiction elements and a documentation of the quirky, multicultural milieu of 21st century Auckland. It deals with the issues surrounding experimentation with genetic engineering and human alienation and disability.The script references the tradition of New Zealand film and its development as a "cinema of unease" through the character of Nat, who lives as a "man alone" on a moored yacht, and through its setting in a desolate mangrove estuary adjacent to a suburban industrial estate. It features characters who are recent immigrants from varying cultures and offers insights to world views that contrast with the pessimistic colonial outlook on life that pits man against the environment in a struggle for domination.The title, Mangrove, is a metaphor for the rich human environment that can be found in outposts of society that are often maligned and overlooked for their perceived lack of value.Mangrove's main character, Talia, is a disabled woman whose desire is to be accepted for her difference, her insights and her humanity. She is confronted with her past and her origins that may be part of a late 20th century genetic experiment.She meets Nat, a former journalist hiding out from society who is searching for a way to express his idealism. Likewise, Shiva, an indo-Fijian living in a nearby car wreckers yard has a love of music and the environment and shares Nat's idealism and desire to work for a better world. The three uncover a potentially world-altering genetic experiment with sugar. The antagonist multinational has Russian mafia allies that have to be dealt with, while the protagonists have the assistance of some Thai monks and Pacific Island street kids as they strive to expose the experimentation, and work out their relationships with one another.

Fringe , Mangrove , Environment , Cross culture , Edge , Kiwi
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