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

Director:

Lee Tamahori

Writers:

Riwia Brown, Alan Duff (novel)
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Popularity
3,979 ( 1,748)
22 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rena Owen ... Beth Heke
Temuera Morrison ... Jake Heke
Mamaengaroa Kerr-Bell ... Grace Heke
Julian Arahanga ... Nig Heke
Taungaroa Emile ... Boogie Heke
Rachael Morris Jr. Rachael Morris Jr. ... Polly Heke
Joseph Kairau ... Huata Heke
Cliff Curtis ... Bully
Pete Smith ... Dooley
George Henare ... Bennett
Mere Boynton ... Mavis
Shannon Williams ... Toot
Calvin Tuteao ... Taka (Gang Leader)
Ray Bishop 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:

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:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Temuera Morrison's performance was likened by some film critics to that of Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront (1954). 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

[after giving an obnoxious punk a beating]
Jake Heke: I was right... too much weights, not enough speedwork. Useless prick.
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 »

Soundtracks

Once Were Warriors (The Awakening)
Performed by Tama Renata
See more »

User Reviews

Great New Zealand film!!!
26 September 2002 | by manuhuiabondSee all my reviews

OWW is a truly great film. However I feel that people have missed one of the main ideas of the film. That is the fact domestic violence is truly horrifying. And it doesn't just happen in Maori families, it happens all over the world! I am Maori myself and first saw this film at the theatres with a mostly Maori audience. It was very well recieved. I was surprised to read the commentary by Glamwog when she said all of her Maori friends hate it. Oh and by the way not all Maori are as depicted in the movie!

If you haven't seen this film, do yourself a favour...watch it.


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Details

Official Sites:

FineLine

Country:

New Zealand

Language:

English | Maori | Spanish

Release Date:

3 March 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Once Were Warriors See more »

Filming Locations:

Auckland, New Zealand See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,608,570

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,608,570
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby | Dolby SR

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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