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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
Cliff Curtis Cliff Curtis
Bully
Pete Smith Pete Smith
Dooley


Written by
Alan Duff Alan Duff
novel


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Once Were Warriors Videos

ONCE WERE WARRIORS - Trailer ( 1994 )

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Cover art, photos and screenshots

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Reviews

People with mana, pride; people with spirit.

12 years, 12 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

7 years, 3 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: 8 December 1994
UPC: 794043637025
Tags: Drama (4), New Zealand (4), Maori (4), Suicide (3), Rape (3), Dysfunctional Family (3), Violence (2), 1994 (2), Fight (2), Alienation (2), Auckland (1), SnP (1), Substance Abuse (1), Sort (1), Spiritual Cinema (1), NZ (1), Alcoholism (1), Incest (1), 1990s (1), 1990's (1)
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johanlefourbe added this to a list 1 year, 5 months ago
1001 Movies ... my own version (1990's) (128 movies items)

" Notes: 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 t"


johanlefourbe added this to a list 1 year, 5 months ago
1001 Movies Chosen By Johanlefourbe (1001 movies items)

" Notes: 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 t"


crazymetalhead added this to a list 1 year, 7 months ago
muh added this to a list 1 year, 9 months ago
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"09.09.2017 "


moviewatcher122 added this to a list 4 years, 4 months ago
Moviewatcher122's 2017 Film Diary: June (14 movies items)

"June 26 "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." This is another one of these kinds of movies that I can't say I was fully prepared for. I didn't even know what it was about going into it, but even if I did, I still think this is one of those films that you can never be fully prepared for. Regardless, this was a really powerful drama w"


moviewatcher122 voted for an image 4 years, 4 months ago

Miika added this to a list 4 years, 4 months ago
Miika's Movie Diary - 2017 (250 movies items)

"4.7, PC Luulin aluksi että kyseessä on joku jengielokuva, mutta Once Were Warriors onkin erittäin pätevä kuvaus ongelmaperheestä. Aluksi perhe kuvataan päällisin puolin tavallisena, mutta yhdestä vastoinkäymisestä päästään toiseen ja lopulta siihen, mihin elämä vittumaisissa olosuhteissa voi eskaloitua. Hahmoja rakennetaan hienosti tapahtumien kautta, jolloin näistä, etenkin Temuera Morrisonin esittämästä nyrkkisankarista, avautuu moniulotteisempia puolia."


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