Once Were Warriors Movie Review 1994

Information and Film Reviews for Once Were Warriors the Movie

Staff rating

Visitor rating
4.0 from 0 reviews

Violent story of the struggling Maori Heke family, who have left their rural New Zealand roots to live in the city. Feisty mom Beth (Owen) is struggling with five kids and volatile hubby Jake (Heke), who's continuously out of work, boozing, and fighting. Eldest son Nig (Arahanga) has left home and joined a street gang and the rest of the kids hate Jake for beating up on their mother. They also fall victim to his temper and his habit of bringing his brawling, drunk buddies home-leading to further tragedy. Intense drama showcases great performances, with Owen honored as best actress at the Montreal World Film Festival. Based on the novel by Alan Duff. Feature-film directorial debut of Tamahori.


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Available on VHS
Running time 102 minutes.
Originally from New Zealand.

Cast and Crew

Urban Drama, Family Drama, On the Rocks, Down Under
Riwia Brown
Rena Owen, Temuera Morrison, Mamaengaroa Kerr-Bell, Julian (Sonny) Arahanga, Taungaroa Emile, Rachael Morris, Joseph Kairau, Pete Smith
Stuart Dryburgh
Lee Tamahori
Murray Grindlay, Murray McNabb
Robin Scholes, Communicado, New Zealand Film Commission


Australian Film Inst. 1995: Foreign Film; Montreal World Film Fest. 1994: Actress (Owen), Film.

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