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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 »



(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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 <>

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 »


Followed by Rapa Nui: Legends in Stone (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

Involving storytelling that forces you to care.

I have no wish to comment on the historical accuracy or otherwise of this film, as it is the story that held me enthralled, not the attention to fact.

The first time I saw this film, I nearly had to pick my jaw up from the floor. A hollywood movie.....that doesn't spoonfeed me the plot like some overbearing nanny? An original (for a big studio) plot device? Whew, let me just sit down for a minute. Here's how it normally goes: Hero (young, handsome and likeable) must compete with rival (villanous, evil rogue) in contest of high stakes. Guess the outcome. But in this underrated gem of a story, we find two equally heroic protagonists, all thoughts of friendship lost as they are forced into a dangerous competition of courage and strength. One, fighting for the woman he loves, the other for his life. This forces the viewer to watch in an agonized state of uncertainty. Who do I want to win? Who deserves it more? What will happen to the loser? This was the first film in a long time that truly forced me to get involved with the characters, not in a cliched good versus evil kind of way, but a good versus good "how the hell are they going to get out of this one?" kind of way. Okay, so some aspects of the film do not deliver with the same power, and some of the accents do tend to waver a little, but the beautifully constructed central storyline held me until the end.

30 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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