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Once Were Warriors [DVD] [1995] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]


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6 used from £28.74

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Region 1 encoding. (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats)
Note: you may purchase only one copy of this product. New Region 1 DVDs are dispatched from the USA or Canada and you may be required to pay import duties and taxes on them (click here for details) Please expect a delivery time of 5-7 days.

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Product details

  • Actors: Rena Owen, Temuera Morrison, Mamaengaroa Kerr-Bell, Julian Arahanga, Taungaroa Emile
  • Directors: Lee Tamahori
  • Writers: Alan Duff, Riwia Brown
  • Producers: Robin Scholes
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Colour, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English, Maori
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: R (Restricted) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: New Line Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: 2 Sep 2003
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000A02Y4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 307,101 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

From Amazon.co.uk

New Zealand filmmaker Lee Tamahori (The Edge) directed this brutal but powerful story drawn from the culture of poverty and alienation enveloping contemporary Maori life. Rena Owen plays the beleaguered mother of two boys--one of whom is already in prison while the other contemplates membership in a gang--and a daughter whose potential is being smothered at home. Temuera Morrison gives an outstanding and sometimes shocking performance as the violent head of the household, more adept at keeping up his social stature within his community of friends than holding down a job. Once Were Warriors pulls no punches, literally and figuratively, but despite the rough going, Tamahori gives us a rare and important insight into a people digging down deep to find their pride. --Tom Keogh, Amazon.com

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 8 Aug 2004
Format: VHS Tape
In a film so hard-hitting that the viewer actually feels battered by the time it reaches its conclusion, a Maori family with five children must deal with urban violence, poverty, drugs, alcoholism, unemployment, gang warfare, rape, physical and mental abuse, suicide, and a host of other horrific family problems, all shown graphically. Beth and Jake Heke and their five children, along with numerous other Maori families, live in an urban ghetto of government-supported housing, isolated from the rest of society and isolated, too, from their old rural culture, which once gave pride and a sense of identity to Maori families. Here in the city the prevailing "culture" centers around bars, rather than the ancient meeting houses.
Beth Heke (Rena Owen), the mother, loves her violent husband Jake (Temuera Morrison), despite his abuse of her when he is drunk, and she cares deeply about her children, but she is powerless to protect them or herself from Jake's rages. The oldest son (Julian Arahanga) is part of a street gang which covers their faces in traditional tattoos and uses their own violence for protection against others. Their sensitive second son Boogie (Taungaroa Emile) has been arrested for associating with car thieves. Most touching, however, is Gracie (unforgettably played by Mamaengaroa Kerr-Bell), a thirteen-year-old beauty who is trying to lead a good life without any good examples to follow. Pathetically, she and the two youngest children are forced to "grow up early," accepting the horrors of their lives as "normal," while they try to survive any way they can.
The bold, raw language of Alan Duff's novel of the same name becomes part of Riwia Brown's script, and Lee Tamahori's direction brings this powerful, absorbing, and overwhelming story of human misery to life.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 10 Mar 2000
Format: VHS Tape
This film based on the novel by Alan Duff portrays the life of a New Zealand family being torn apart by alcoholism and violence. The films star Temuera Morrison better known in New Zealand as a doctor on Shortland Street plays a truly frightening role as "Jake the Muss" the Alcoholic father who uses violence to strike fear into his family. This film is a must see although be prepared for some graphic violence.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 17 Sep 2001
Format: DVD
Once were Warriors is a movies that, although it is specifically about the plight of the Maori people and particularly the Family of " Jake the muss " tells the story of many families in many different countries.It could quite easily be set in America, Ireland or England etc. The main thing that stands out for me in this film is its cultural aspect and the fact that through all the violence and desperation it is the Maori culture that gives hope. Each character finds his or her way back to their culture, except for Jake who through his denial of his culture and therefore denial of himself, remains lost and desperate.A BRILLIANT FILM.*****
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Mr. S. Fowler on 6 Jan 2004
Format: VHS Tape
Once Were Warriors is a film that will never leave you after viewing. It is the archetypal slice of life we can be educated from that only cinema can deliver so concisely. Is is often lorded as the most prolific examination of the Maori people and their confliction between traditional beliefs, traditions and behaviour and the reality of the modern world and family, but it is much more than that. It is hands down one of the most harrowing tales of domestic violence, and elicits a power which challenges and provokes.
The story is told on its own footing, with New Zealand production, direction and acting, and you really feel this sense of authenticity. It has a passion and intimacy with its subject matter than other films crave but cannot recreate.
The raw subject matter is complemented with straightforward, unflashy direction. The plot tackles many issues of family, growth, loyalty, responsibility and dissects them with a strong soul. The acting is one of the most amazing accomplishments of antipodean cinema. Temeura Morrision gaves one of the most incredible performances of modern cinema as Jake the Muss. His primeaval power on screen lights up the entire picture, while the subtlety, gutsy performances of Owen and Kerr-Bell add all the more pain and challenge upon its truely sad conclusion.
Its a must see picture, enjoyable on all levels is has both conscience and intelligence with its ferocity.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sally Alexander on 18 Jun 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Having been to New Zealand we wanted to see this film and we have watched it many times and lent it to others who found it a very powerful film. Wonderful acting.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By R. Mullaney VINE VOICE on 30 Oct 2006
Format: DVD
Once Were Warriors is a bold and powerful portrayal of domestic violence and poverty in a New Zealand housing project. Temuera Morrison puts in a mesmerising performance as Jake 'The Muss' Heke, a violent drunk seemingly destined to destroy himself and anyone close to him. Rena Owen plays his Maori born wife who is subjected to his abuse in some of the films most unsettling scenes. Together, the couple have two teenage sons, both budding gangsters, a teenage daughter, Grace and two small children. Their fathers drunkeness and inability to control his temper is tearing the family apart and when one of his deadbeat mates subjects Grace to a humliating sexual assault she commits suicide. Her death is the catalyst that forces her mother to leave Jake and go back to her Maori family.

The film is intense and upsetting but also quite brilliant. All the lead characters are talented actors, especially Morrison who is terrifying in parts. It's a shame that the sequel (What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?) could not capture the raw realism of this excellent film.

Like this? Try: Nil By Mouth
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