Acclaimed Kiwi director Taika Waititi has acknowledged Australia's First Nations people as he prepares to start filming the next instalment in the Thor film saga with Chris Hemsworth.
Hemsworth and Waititi, 45, can be seen in the Instagram photo, shared by the Jojo Rabbit director, alongside traditional indigenous landowners of the area where the new Thor film will be shot.
"Love & Thunder began shooting yesterday. Started it the right way with a Welcome to Country ceremony from the Gamay dancers of the Gadigal and Bidiagal Nation," the Academy Award-winning director stated in the caption for his post. "I encourage all film makers to find and engage with 1st nations peoples whenever shooting your films. It's worth it and it's the right thing to do. Mauri Ora!"
Waititi's focus on the rights of indigenous people came at a key time when many Australians feel that the traditional date for Australian Day celebrations, January 26, should be moved out of respect for the pain that date carries for First Nations people. January 26 is referred to as "invasion day" by most indigenous Australians, and the pressure to #changethedate gains momentum with each passing year.
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In his Instagram caption Waititi also included a slightly paraphrased version of the impassioned caption attached to his own post of the photo.
Hemsworth's entreaty read: "Indigenous Australians may be just as proud of this country, but many see January 26th as a date signifying the beginning of dispossession, disease epidemics, frontier violence, destruction of culture, exploitation, abuse, separation of families and subjection to policies of extreme social control. Let's begin the healing and stand together in unity and support with our First Nations people with solidarity and compassion. Let's find a date where all Australians can celebrate this beautiful country together. #changethedate @taikawaititi #thorloveandthunder." Hemsworth's Instagram post has been liked more than 2 million times.
Waititi was picked to direct the next Thor movie after the success of 2017's Thor: Ragnarok, which he also directed. The fourth instalment in the franchise is due for release next year, according to IMDB. The Jojo Rabbit director has previously revealed he will also reprise his voice acting role as Korg in the new Marvel film.