Once Were Warriors

( 9 )

Overview

This powerful drama was a major hit in its native New Zealand, outgrossing Jurassic Park in Kiwi cinemas. Jake and Beth Heke Temurea Morrison and Rena Owen are a couple of Maori descent who are living in a slum in Aukland. While it's obvious that they still love each other, Jake's alcoholism has driven a wedge into their relationship and has left their children emotionally scarred. Jake is charming while sober, but when drunk, he's a violent psychopath given to blink-of-an-eye mood changes and terrible cruelty ...
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Overview

This powerful drama was a major hit in its native New Zealand, outgrossing Jurassic Park in Kiwi cinemas. Jake and Beth Heke Temurea Morrison and Rena Owen are a couple of Maori descent who are living in a slum in Aukland. While it's obvious that they still love each other, Jake's alcoholism has driven a wedge into their relationship and has left their children emotionally scarred. Jake is charming while sober, but when drunk, he's a violent psychopath given to blink-of-an-eye mood changes and terrible cruelty against his loved ones. Liquor has also made it difficult for Jake to hold onto a job, leaving him dependent on the dole to feed his family. Nig Julian Arahanga, Jake's oldest son, has turned his back on his father and joined a gang of Maori youths whose initiation rituals include tattooing and torture. Jake's 13-year-old daughter Grace Mamaengaroa Kerr-Bell prefers to spend her time with her drug-addicted boyfriend -- rather than stay home and fight off the advances of her father's friends. And Boogie Taungaroa Emile ends up in juvenile hall when Jake's drinking prevents him from going to court to speak on Boogie's behalf. Once Were Warriors was based on an acclaimed novel by Alan Duff.
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Special Features

Audio commentary with the director; Cast biographies & interviews; The making of Once Were Warriors; Music videos; Thunderbox (E Tipu E Rea) - a short film by Lee Tamahori
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Films as honest and unforgiving as Once Were Warriors are rare. Many filmmakers espousing the stories and causes of oppressed minorities tend to glamorize the people they are promoting; not so New Zealand's Lee Tamahori. In his feature film debut, Tamahori throws an intense glare on the violent, alcoholic life of a Maori family, never bringing judgment or excuses to the story, based on a novel by Alan Duff. For her role as a woman buffeted by her drunken husband and her angry, bawdy, gangster son, Rena Owen was honored with a best actress award at the Montreal World Film Festival in 1994. Once Were Warriors is not easy to watch; Tamahori makes few compromises for the sake of entertainment in this bold, sometimes joyless, but finally exhilarating tale of overcoming poverty and social backwardness. The rough, raw footage is especially impressive considering that, a mere year later, Tamahori came to Hollywood and directed the slick, engaging, and persuasively American neo-noir thriller Mulholland Falls.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/10/2009
  • EAN: 9339065001990
  • Original Release: 1994
  • Rating:

  • Source: Icon
  • Region Code: ABC
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:39:00
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 10,275

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Rena Owen Beth Heke
Temuera Morrison Jake Heke
Mamaengaroa Kerr-Bell Grace Heke
Julian "Sonny" Arahanga Nig Heke
Taungaroa Emile Boogie Heke
Rachael Morris Polly Heke
Joseph Kairau Huata Heke
Cliff Curtis Bully
Shannon Williams Toot
Pete Smith Dooley
George Henare Bennett
Ian Mune Judge
Te Whatanui Skimworth Te Tupaea
Jessica Wilcox Policewoman
Wiki Oman Youth Advocate
Richard Mehana Taunter in Court
Riwia Brown Bully's Girl
Charles Marsh Jake's Mate
Stephen Hall Prosecuting Officer
Technical Credits
Lee Tamahori Director
Riwia Brown Screenwriter
Stuart Dryburgh Cinematographer
Murray Grindlay Score Composer
Michael Horton Editor
Michael Kane Production Designer
Murray Mcnabb Score Composer
Robin Scholes Producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    A brutal film, with many truths of substance abuse and the scavenger-like characters that are around that world, and hurt the families of people in substance abuse without them knowing about it or caring.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Must See Movie!!!!!!

    Powerful,and emotional.....Keeps your eyes glued to the screen......A must see movie if your in an abusive relationship!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2003

    Powerful!

    This movie was powerful, dangerously straighforward and vicously presented. It did not just make me laugh and cry. From the glance this movie gave me, this movie did them, as well as their anscestors justice and I was glad they would allow the world to view a glimpse of their People and Way of Life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2002

    WILL BLOW YOU AWAY!!!!!!!! EXCEPTIONAL!!!!!!!!!!!

    Best movie I have ever seen. Really hit home personnaly.Rent it, Buy it, See it, but DO expierience it!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2002

    From The African American Perspective

    This is an excellent movie. The first time I saw it I immediately thought of we who are of African descent here in America. This film shows the residues of European colonialism and how it effects the present. I did not know that there is a book that came before, but the book is even better. I highly recommend the book. The way it is written it will cause American readers to pause. It is written in voice, therefore there are no quotations to know who is speaking.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2001

    awesome

    This is a exceptional movie, my husband is maori and he truly understands the culture of the way it really is there

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2001

    A Must See!!! Best Picture of the Year!!!

    A Bone chilling bite of reality concerning domestic violence. Superp cast and character development. Brilliant performances by Jake (Temurea Morrison), abusive husband and father, Beth (Rena Owen, abused wife and passive mother and Grace (Mamaengaroa Kerre-Bell), daughter of Beth and Jake. Mamaengaroa Kerre-Bell's performance will tug at your heart strings.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2000

    Great Kiwi Film

    I've watched this movie several times, and each time I've found something different to relate to in todays society. If you'd like an insight into the slum gang-like maori life style, I truly recommend this movie.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews