7.9/10
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Once Were Warriors (1994)

R | | Crime, Drama | 3 March 1995 (USA)
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2:07 | Trailer

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

Director:

Writers:

, (novel)
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Popularity
4,843 ( 200)
22 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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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)
...
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:

Her only chance for the future is to embrace the power of her past. 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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was turned down by various potential backers and producers including the New Zealand Film Commission. A key turning point in getting the project off the ground was that Wellington playwright Riwia Brown rewrote Duff's original script and made it as much the story of Beth and her children as it is the story of Jake. Then director Tamahori knew he was onto a winner. Tanahori said "You couldn't have it be a story about a mindlessly violent thug. I was more fascinated by a story of a mother who makes efforts to rise above her circumstances and create a life for her children." See more »

Goofs

When Beth and friend are out looking for Grace in the car, its raining outside. When they go to a front shot of the car its not raining. See more »

Quotes

Jake Heke: Where the fuck you off to? Come have a feed boy!
Nig Heke: Nuh.
Jake Heke: Fuck him!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Before the ending credits start, a giant 'END' covers the screen. See more »

Connections

Featured in Getaway: Episode #16.35 (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

An incredible piece of film making
2 January 2004 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

This is a film that should be seen by everyone. A powerful movie that will stir almost every emotion you can think of, and sometimes all at once. Completely believable and compelling film that will hold you till the very end, and a long time after.


30 of 43 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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