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Once Were Warriors (1994)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  3 March 1995 (USA)
8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 23,614 users  
Reviews: 269 user | 50 critic

A family descended from Maori warriors is bedeviled by a violent father and the societal problems of being treated as outcasts.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Taungaroa Emile ...
Rachael Morris Jr. ...
Joseph Kairau ...
...
Bully
Pete Smith ...
Dooley
George Henare ...
Bennett
Mere Boynton ...
Shannon Williams ...
Calvin Tuteao ...
Taka (Gang Leader)
Ray Bishop ...
King Hitter (in pub)
Ian Mune ...
Judge
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Storyline

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 <maslinc@cad.canterbury.ac.nz>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A family in crisis, a life in chaos... Nothing is more powerful than a mother's love. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive language and strong depiction of domestic abuse, including sexual violence and substance abuse | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

3 March 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Alma dos Guerreiros  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$2,201,126 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 2014 a '20 years after' documentary was made about the film, narrated by actor Julian Arahanga (who plays Nig in the movie), who is now a film maker based in Wellington NZ. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Te Tupaea: The British used to think the bayonet was the most lethal of all hand to hand combat weapons, till they came across our warriors, who fought with the Taiaha. You think your fist is your weapon? When I have taught you, your mind will be.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Film Geek (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A great film
18 September 2003 | by (Orange County, CA USA) – See all my reviews

"Once Were Warriors" tells of one woman's struggle to free herself and her family from the fist of abuse, the grip of oppression, and the slow assassination of self esteem at the hands of an alcoholic husband. This film's story of a Maori (indigenous New Zealanders) underclass family shows the male turning to violence and self destruction to vent frustration with his plight while the female draws strength from her cultural heritage in an attempt to save her children and restore their dignity. Gripping, intense, and powerful, "Once Were Warriors" is a critically acclaimed must see for anyone into serious human drama. (A)


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