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Once Were Warriors (1994)

Once Were Warriors
7.6 Rating
(147 ratings)
8 IMDB rating

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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


Written by
Riwia Brown

Riwia Brown

Alan Duff

Alan Duff

novel


Once Were Warriors Videos

ONCE WERE WARRIORS - Trailer ( 1994 )

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Added 5 months ago




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Reviews

People with mana, pride; people with spirit.

6 years, 1 month 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

Review

1 year, 6 months ago at Jul 12 19:03
15 votes
This is a brilliant classic New Zealand film, about one families struggle with poverty and domestic violence. The movie stars Temuera Morrison as the father Jake (The Muss) Heke as the abusive leader of the family, who talks about Maori traditions while drinking at the local bar, and bringing violence home from himself and others. Temuera did a fantastic job as Jake, as did Rena Owen as Beth Heke ... read more

A very good movie

5 months, 1 week 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
Description: 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 Temu ... (more)
Release date: 3 March 1995
UPC: 794043637025
New Zealand (6), Maori (5), Drama (5), 1994 (3), Rape (3), 1990s (3), Violence (3), Suicide (3), Fight (2), Dysfunctional Family (2), Alienation (2), SnP (1), Auckland (1), 1990's (1), Tattoos (1), Incest (1), Alcoholism (1), NZ (1), Spiritual Cinema (1), Urban (1)
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vitelmilano posted a image 3 months ago

johanlefourbe posted a review 5 months, 1 week 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

dannyjai posted a review 1 year, 6 months ago

“This is a brilliant classic New Zealand film, about one families struggle with poverty and domestic violence. The movie stars Temuera Morrison as the father Jake (The Muss) Heke as the abusive leader of the family, who talks about Maori traditions while drinking at the local bar, and bringing violence home from himself and others. Temuera did a fantastic job as Jake, as did Rena Owen as Beth Heke the wife who is trying to hold the family together while copping the brunt of the abuse from Jake. This is a tragic sad tale of domestic violence, as well as a look into a lost generation of once proud Maori warriors. If you can stomach the abuse which at times is full on, the movie is worth a look it is very well written and acted. It is also based on Alan Duff's novel, which is a series. Once We” 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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"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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AgentLexi posted a review 6 years, 1 month 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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