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Once Were Warriors

A family in crisis, a life in chaos... Nothing is more powerful than a mother's love.
60K ratings
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Format:  DVD
sku:  6CKES
Brand New

DVD Features:

  • Rated: Unrated
  • Run Time: 1 hours, 42 minutes
  • Video: Color
  • Released: September 6, 2016
  • Originally Released: 1994
  • Label: Film Movement
  • Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
  • Aspect Ratio: Widescreen - 1.78
  • Audio:
    • Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo - English
    • Dolby Digital 5.1 - English

Performers, Cast and Crew:

Starring &
Performer: &
Directed by
Edited by
Screenwriting by
Produced by
Director of Photography:

Entertainment Reviews:

Certified Fresh93%

Total Count: 44


User Ratings: 29,669
...[This] unambiguously emotional drama will likely touch a nerve with many who see it... -- 3 out of 4 stars
USA Today
Mar 7, 1995
...Visual energy and emotional depth...
Feb 1, 1995
...Fire and substance too... -- Rating: B+
Entertainment Weekly
Mar 10, 1995
...[A] compelling first feature...
Film Comment
Nov 1, 1994
...Brutally effective....This film's stars are frighteningly credible....[Ms. Owen] radiates a physical vitality...
New York Times
Feb 24, 1995
Rating: 3/4 -- It's a fine, fierce and nearly unforgettable movie. Full Review
Baltimore Sun
Feb 21, 2017
Once Were Warriors is a savage and dismaying tale of a venerable culture in decay and a film difficult to recommend. Full Review
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Feb 21, 2017

Product Description:

One woman tries to keep her family together despite her violent, alcoholic husband. Based on the novel by Alan Duff. Made in New Zealand.

For Jake and Beth Heke, life in their suburban ghetto is going from bad to worse. Jake's just lost his job, their delinquent teenage son Boogie has to appear in court and they can't make ends meet with five growing kids. Late that night, they host another one of Jake's raunchy drinking parties while the children lie awake in their bedroom. When their oldest son asks for money, which Beth discovers Jake has gambled away, it ignites a vicious argument that Jake solves by giving Beth one of his brutal beatings. The tide of violence continues to ebb and flow in the Heke household until a terrible tragedy makes them confront the dysfunctional state of their family.


Production Notes:

  • Co-produced by Communicado, Avalon Studios, and New Zealand On Air.
  • Stuart Dryburgh, the film's cinematographer, was also the director of photography on Jane Campion's award-winning "The Piano." He was nominated for an Academy Award for that film.
  • This was New Zealand's top grossing film of all time.
  • Other credits: Hirini Melbourne (Maori music consultant) and Kepe Srirling (Haka Choreography).
  • Rated BBFC 18 by the British Board of Film Classification.

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Product Info

  • UPC: 857692005857
  • Shipping Weight: 0.24/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item

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