Takeout Kids is the new observational documentary series from the team at The Spinoff, and boy did it take me out—emotionally, that is. Director Julie Zhu and the team scouted four families from Tāmaki Makaurau to Ōtutahi and created four, lovingly crafted 10-minute-windows into the lives of everyday migrants. At the launch party, Daryl J. Wong, the series’ cinematographer, described how the team set up their cameras outside shop windows and in the cracks of door-frames, creating a unique and engaging cinematographic style. The end product is truly an honest, raw, intimate and rare glimpse into these families’ lives.
Although I was never a takeout kid, as a second generation migrant, these stories were familiar to me. John, Brooklyn, Martynique, and Rama could have been kids I’d met in my childhood. They’re kind, they’re responsible, they’re hard-working, but they’re also cheeky, playful, and pensive. Takeout Kids is a uniquely human, uniquely New Zealand series, lifting the curtain on stories not often told or celebrated. I finished every episode in a night, and fought back tears after each one; it made me, and I’m sure countless others, finally feel seen. Takeout Kids is essential viewing for a modern Aotearoa.
Takeout kids will take you out.