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Once Were Warriors (1994)

Directed by


Starring (View all)
Rena Owen Rena Owen
Beth Heke
Temuera Morrison Temuera Morrison
Jake Heke
Julian Arahanga Julian Arahanga
Nig Heke
Taungaroa Emile Taungaroa Emile
Boogie Heke
Rachael Morris Jr. Rachael Morris Jr.
Polly Heke
Joseph Kairau Joseph Kairau
Huata Heke
Cliff Curtis Cliff Curtis
Bully


Written by
Riwia Brown Riwia Brown
Alan Duff Alan Duff
novel


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Once Were Warriors Videos

ONCE WERE WARRIORS - Trailer ( 1994 )

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Reviews

People with mana, pride; people with spirit.

7 years, 2 months ago at Dec 4 20:22
15 votes
''Our people once were warriors. But unlike you, Jake, they were people with mana, pride; people with spirit. If my spirit can survive living with you for eighteen years, then I can survive anything.''

A family descended from Maori warriors is bedeviled by a violent father and the societal problems of being treated as outcasts.

Rena Owen: Beth Heke

''I... read more

A very good movie

1 year, 5 months ago at Aug 24 21:29
15 votes
I wonder if a lot of people remember this movie but, somehow, it seems pretty much forgotten which is quite a shame. Indeed, when it was released, it was a big critical success and launched the once promising career of Lee Tamahori. Back then, I was very young when I saw it and I was definitely impressed. Basically, you don’t get to watch many movies about the Maoris and even though this one was... read more
View all Once Were Warriors reviews
Once Were Warriors is a 1994 film based on New Zealand author Alan Duff's bestselling 1990 first novel. The film tells the story of an urban Māori family the Hekes and their problems with poverty, alcoholism and domestic violence, mostly brought on by family patriarch Jake. It was directed by Lee Tamahori and stars Rena Owen and Temuera Morrison.
Release date: 3 March 1995
UPC: 794043637025
Tags: New Zealand (6), Maori (5), Drama (5), Rape (3), Violence (3), Suicide (3), 1990s (3), 1994 (3), Alienation (2), Dysfunctional Family (2), Fight (2), Tattoos (1), NZ (1), Substance Abuse (1), Incest (1), Urban (1), Auckland (1), Alcoholism (1), 1990's (1), SnP (1)
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"7.3 PC"


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" Thank you Air New Zealand! Before flying with ANZ and even going to NZ I had no idea they had such good movies. Thanks to those long ass flights I found this film gem. This movie is beautiful but so tragic. Also it appears to be one of the really generally known films in NZ. "


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Top 50 of the 90's (50 movies items)

" "Our people once were warriors. But unlike you, Jake, they were people with mana, pride; people with spirit. If my spirit can survive living with you for eighteen years, then I can survive anything." "


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johanlefourbe posted a review 1 year, 5 months ago

A very good movie

“I wonder if a lot of people remember this movie but, somehow, it seems pretty much forgotten which is quite a shame. Indeed, when it was released, it was a big critical success and launched the once promising career of Lee Tamahori. Back then, I was very young when I saw it and I was definitely impressed. Basically, you don’t get to watch many movies about the Maoris and even though this one was a fairly traditional drama, I thought it was very powerful. Indeed, you get a glimpse of the struggle of this people who were once indeed great warriors but are nowadays outcasts and who very often don’t fit in very well in our modern world. After this promising debut, Lee Tamahori got his ticket for Hollywood and you could have hoped that he would make some great things there as well but, unfo” read more

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"The realistic, brutal, difficult-to-watch domestic abuse scene in which Jake Heke (Temuera Morrison) savagely beat (he punched her repeatedly, slammed her against the living room wall and mirror, kicked her, and threw her into the bedroom) and then raped (off-screen) his battered wife Beth (Rena Owen), as the four children, including 13 year-old writer Grace Heke (Mamaengaroa Kerr-Bell), huddled and cowered together in a bunk bed listening to the violence; and Grace's own rape by Jake's best fri"


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"New Zealand "


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"Stand out character/s: Temuera Morrison: Jake Heke Awards Won: 19 wins & 1 nomination F.A.L. IMDB Director: Lee Tamahori Emotional/Tragedy level: Cry like a baby"


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"The "in your face" mentality of violence shown and the overall mood of the movie make this a very stunning flick."


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"Usually I laugh at things like violence towards women and children, but this movie is very brutal in those terms and really touches the viewer. The domestic violence seen in the movie looks absolutely real and it is pretty heavy stuff. The maori setting and New Zealand lower class is a nice change for trailer trash areas where this movie would have been set if it was made in the US."


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"30.03. Synkkä ja koskettava. Naisiin kohdistuva väkivalta hyvin ikävää katsottavaa."


AgentLexi posted a review 7 years, 2 months ago

People with mana, pride; people with spirit.

“''Our people once were warriors. But unlike you, Jake, they were people with mana, pride; people with spirit. If my spirit can survive living with you for eighteen years, then I can survive anything.''

A family descended from Maori warriors is bedeviled by a violent father and the societal problems of being treated as outcasts.

Rena Owen: Beth Heke

''In case you wanna know it's Jake. Jake The Muss.''

Combine Director Lee Tamahori, Writer Riwia Brow and the Novel by Alan Duff and you're in for an explosive treat of immense fortitude. Equalling the most realistic depictions of a life of a family that hits home...and then some.

Once Were Warriors is, in it's rawest form, about a woman named Beth and her struggle to just do what's best for he” read more

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