Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Maori Movies From New Zealand

There are a couple of great movies picturing the struggle of Maori kids trying to navigate their way through the modern world
Once Were Warriors is set in Auckland New Zealand, this is a riveting and powerful movie dealing with alcoholism and abuse. There are many moments in this movie that aren't for the faint of heart, but I believe it is a must see.  Jake Heke played by Temuera Morrison (AKA Boba/Jango Fett), plays a drunk abusive SOB brilliantly. You really want to hate him as you see the havoc he wreaks on his family after a couple (dozen) cold ones.  I had originally seen it as part of an aboriginal film festival and could see why it included at such an event. A must watch even it you do find it disturbing and troubling.

Whale Rider is about a teenage girl who must fight the patriarchal traditions of her Maori family.  She fights for the love of her grandfather, as she tries to prove herself worthy to break a generations old tradition of male  rule.  Pai immerses herself in Maori traditions and culture, but often receives the wrath of her grandfather, because she is bucking traditional roles.  This feel-good, heart warming flick looks at the softer side of a warrior culture and is worth a watch.  It might be a good way to unwind from Once Were Warriors.

More Later...


  1. Both are great films, and I own both. The sequel to Once Were Warriors, What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?, unfortunately is not as good.


  2. I've read that the What becomes of the Broken Hearted existed, but I haven yet seen it. Any reviews I've found pretty much say they missed the boat.