7.9/10
28,120
278 user 59 critic

Once Were Warriors (1994)

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

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ON DISC
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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22 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Beth Heke
... Jake Heke
... Grace Heke
... Nig Heke
... Boogie Heke
Rachael Morris Jr. ... Polly Heke
... Huata Heke
... Bully
... Dooley
... Bennett
Mere Boynton ... Mavis
... Toot
... 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:

A family in crisis, a life in chaos... Nothing is more powerful than a mother's love. 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:

FineLine

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

3 March 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Alma dos Guerreiros  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$2,201,126
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Rena Owen coveted the role of Beth for three years after she read the novel by Alan Duff. She caught the attention of Duff at a book reading in Wellington, of one of Duff's other novels. Duff initially ignored her, but then was so captivated by her reading that he approached her and told her she would be ideal for the role of Beth. See more »

Goofs

The swallow tattoo on Rena Owen's breast disappears between shots. See more »

Quotes

Beth Heke: Got your period bub? Bound to make you a bit uptight eh!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Followed by What Becomes of the Broken Hearted? (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

Gut-wrenching
5 December 2003 | by See all my reviews

This is one of the most powerful and realistic movies I have ever seen.

A true modern-day tragedy, this movie shows the negative aspects of one indigenous culture in today's society. This is a very important movie as it forces you to look at issues that some have to live with on a daily basis.

This movie literally left me feeling sick in the stomach. Particularly with the knowledge that there are families out there living through this. The performance by Temuera Morrison was incredible.


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