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Once Were Warriors

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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Added 9 years ago




Cover art, photos and screenshots

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Reviews

People with mana, pride; people with spirit.

15 years, 7 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

9 years, 10 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), Drama (5), Maori (4), Dysfunctional Family (3), Suicide (3), 1994 (3), Rape (3), Violence (2), Alienation (2), 1990s (2), Fight (2), NZ (1), Auckland (1), Spiritual Cinema (1), Sort (1), Substance Abuse (1), SnP (1), Alcoholism (1), Incest (1), Theatre (1)
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Agent Kermit D. Fonz added this to a list 5 months, 1 week ago
Pop Culture Phenomenon Films: 90’s (1903 movies items)

" An unemployed Maori living in the Auckland slums, Jake Heke has a terrible temper that he takes out on family and strangers alike. His wife, Beth, takes regular beatings after he's been at the pub, and his kids do what they can to sidestep trouble. Nig, the eldest, is joining a street gang; Boogie has been placed in a foster home; and Grace increasingly retreats to the pages of her journal. The film is considered by critics, to be raw and really powerful in it’s depiction of spousal abuse"


Agent Kermit D. Fonz added this to a list 5 months, 1 week ago
Pop Culture Phenomenon Films: 90’s (1903 movies items)

" An unemployed Maori living in the Auckland slums, Jake Heke has a terrible temper that he takes out on family and strangers alike. His wife, Beth, takes regular beatings after he's been at the pub, and his kids do what they can to sidestep trouble. Nig, the eldest, is joining a street gang; Boogie has been placed in a foster home; and Grace increasingly retreats to the pages of her journal. The film is considered by critics, to be raw and really powerful in it’s depiction of spousal abuse"


marioehc added this to a list 5 months, 2 weeks ago
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Toby White added this to a list 10 months, 2 weeks ago
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djprojexion added this to a list 1 year, 6 months ago
DVD Pickups Fall/Winter 2022 (45 movies items)

"I've always wanted to check this movie out, even as far back as seeing the VHS in a video store and thinking it was Jennifer Lopez on the cover (it's actually Rena Owen!). Kiwi films have a special charm because they kind of combine what we love best from Ozploitation but with more of a prestige, European feel. Glad to add this one to the collection."


Xanadon't added this to a list 1 year, 7 months ago
Feed Your Dark Side (162 movies items)
Henrike posted 10 images [View All] 1 year, 9 months ago

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1994-Best to Worst (32 movies items)
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"09.09.2017 "


moviewatcher122 added this to a list 7 years 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 7 years ago

Miika added this to a list 7 years 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."


Leo added this to a list 7 years, 4 months ago
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Watched in 2016 (291 movies items)
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