Rapa Nui (1994)

R  |   |  Action, Adventure, Drama  |  9 September 1994 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 3,680 users  
Reviews: 24 user | 9 critic

Tenuously based on the legends of Easter Island, Chile, this story details a civil war between the two tribes on the island: the Long Ears and the Short Ears. A warrior from the ruling ... See full summary »



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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Eru Potaka Dewes ...
Emilio Tuki Hito ...
Gordon Hatfield ...
Frenxa Reuben ...
Hori Ahipene ...
Chiefy Elkington ...
Ruihana Rewa ...
Old Woman
George Henare ...
Pete Smith ...
Mario Gaoa ...
Short Ears
Short Ears


Tenuously based on the legends of Easter Island, Chile, this story details a civil war between the two tribes on the island: the Long Ears and the Short Ears. A warrior from the ruling class falls in love with a girl from the lower class, and must decide on his position in a time of great civil unrest. The ruling class are demanding larger and larger Moai (stone statues), a task which the lower class and the island ecology are more and more reluctant to provide. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some tribal violence and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

9 September 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Elveda cennet  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)


$305,070 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


While film critic Gene Siskel thought that the egg hunt was ridiculous, the ritual did indeed exist as part of the Birdman Cult. See more »


The Rapa Nui had long abandoned carving moai by the time of the Cult of the Birdman. See more »


Featured in Mars Attacks! (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

Uniquely strange and unintentionally funny
4 May 2014 | by See all my reviews

On Easter Island, the tribes are in a ritualized competition. Every year, each tribe sends a warrior to the Birdman competition to see who will rule the island. Noro (Jason Scott Lee) comes from the ruling tribe 'long ears'. His clueless grandfather chief and his ruthless priest demand larger Moai. He is in love with Ramana (Sandrine Holt) from the tribe 'short ears'. His long time friend Make (Esai Morales) is also in love with Ramana. The demand for Moais has eaten up the resources of the island as scarcities and ecological damage rule.

The problem for this movie is the foreign nature of everything. Some of it is laughable even if it's true. Writer/director Kevin Reynolds needed to be especially careful about the unintended comedy. Maybe it's an impossible task given the strange craziness. The story is a mix of Romeo and Juliet and an environmental documentary. There's none like it.

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