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Once were warriors…

August 18, 2014

This week is the 20th anniversary of the classic 1994 New Zealand movie “Once were warriors” directed by Lee Tamahori , produced by Robin Scholes and screenplay by Riwia Brown. Unlike the novel on which the film is based, by Alan Duff , the screenplay was adapted to make Beth, wife of Jake the Muss, the focal character (whereas in the novel, Jake is the focal point) and also provided a slightly more uplifting and hopeful ending.

The story tells the story of an urban Maori family, the Hekes, and their problems with poverty, alcoholism, gangs, domestic violence and sexual abuse.  It’s a dark story that is challenging to read (or watch), but will strike a nerve with many people as it exposed a dark underside of New Zealand life, that wasn’t commonly discussed twenty years ago.

Duff wrote a sequel in 1996 ‘What becomes of the broken hearted’ which continues the story of the Heke family, and in 2002, completed the trilogy with ‘Jake’s long shadow’.  If you havent’ yet read them, we have all three in our collection.



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