Crooked Earth (2001)

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Forces of tradition and tribal pride collide with government authority.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Will Bastion
Ripeka Bastion
Kahu Bastion
Quinton Hita ...
Nancy Brunning ...
Sydney Jackson ...
George Henare ...
Calvin Tuteao ...
Sergeant Ropiha
Stan Wolfgramm ...
William Davis ...
Eliza Bidois ...
Mabel Wharekawa ...
Aunty Margaret (as Wharekawa-Burt)
Tairoa Morrison ...
Mark Nua ...


Will Bastion returns home from the army after an absence of 20 years to bury his father, the former chief of thee Maori tribe, Ngati Kaipuku. The eldest son, he is reluctant to inherit his fathers role, so it is taken more willingly by his younger brother, Kahu. Kahu is the leader of a band of drug dealers and trouble-makers who ride horses through the middle of town, wrecking peoples gardens. Under the guise of refusal of a land settlement, Kahu makes a large marijuana deal with some murdering city folk. Will must choose between loyalty for his brother and his father, Maori tradition, and contemporary financial issues. Written by

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Release Date:

23 August 2001 (New Zealand)  »

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User Reviews

Tems best role yet
8 September 2001 | by (Auckland, New Zealand) – See all my reviews

I was not expecting much out of this film and upon leaving the cinema was pleasantly surprised by how much I had enjoyed it. Temuera Morrison gives a performance that is in my opinion at least as good as, if not better than the one in Once Were Warriors. The musical score in the film was quixotic, not knowing exactly what type of film it was supposed to be for. The photography was good showing off the kiwi landscape. It is quite a decent attempt at trying to transpose the most american film genres The Western into NZ and it is mostly successful in doing so. At the start I was quite scared that it was just another promo film for the NZ tourism board with loads of rolling hills and sheep, but thankfully the film took a different direction. Basic plot: Chief dies, he had two sons one stayed and became a drug dealer the other left and joined the army and he comes back for the funeral after he is kicked out of the army and the younger brother who stayed wants to be chief and the older brother who would left doesn't want it. By the time the film is over the battles have been fought and their are all sorts of minor intrigues and western cliches that have been reinvigorated with the unique setting. The supporting cast was also very good with a standout being the girl who played tems daughter. Overall it is the best Kiwi film since Once Were Warriors and is a thoroughly enjoyable one also.

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