Based on a true story
Auckland, June 1886.
Ngati Wai chief Paratene Te Manu spends long sessions, over three long days, having his portrait painted by the Bohemian painter Gottfried Lindauer. Hearing of Lindauer's planned trip to England reminds him of his own journey there, twenty years earlier, with a party of northern rangatira. As he sits for Lindauer, Paratene retreats deeper and deeper into the past, from the triumphs in London and their meetings with royalty to the disintegration of the visit into poverty, mistrust, and humiliation.
'Paula Morris writes of an international New Zealand. Her work slips effortlessly and naturally across time zones and hemispheres, criss-crossing themes of race and culture with a cool, knowing style and claiming an ethnic territory that's all her own . . .'