Set in urban Auckland (New Zealand) this movie tells the story of the Heke family. Jake Heke is a violent man who beats his wife frequently when drunk, and yet obviously loves both her and his family. The movie follows a period of several weeks in the family's life showing Jake's frequent outburst of violence and the effect that this has on his family. The youngest son is in trouble with the police and may be put into a foster home while the elder son is about to join a street gang. Jake's daughter has her own serious problems which are a key element in the plot. Written by
Chris Maslin <email@example.com>
Her only chance for the future is to embrace the power of her past.
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Motion Picture Rating
Rated R for pervasive language and strong depiction of domestic abuse, including sexual violence and substance abuse
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Did You Know?
Once Were Warriors was voted, in a local online poll in 2014, the best New Zealand film of all time, ahead of Boy, Whale Rider and Goodbye Pork Pie. See more
When Beth is talking to her best friend (the female singer in the bar) at the kitchen table, the amount of beer in the glass varies inconsistently between shots. See more
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.
Most of the opening credits are either split in half, scattered in different areas of the screen, abnormally shaped or used in small white print. Some are even mixed. See more