Watch at Home 09.06.2016

Once Were Warriors

Directed by Lee Tamahori
Film Movement Classics
102 Minutes
New Zealand
English, Maori
Thriller, Romance, Drama, Classics

Amidst the mean streets of Auckland, Beth Heke (Rena Owen) lives with her husband Jake (Temuera Morrison) and their three children in a tenement house for native Maori. Jake’s battle with alcoholism frequently results in terrifyingly violent outbursts, but Beth’s unwavering devotion prevents her from seeing how much his rage is destroying their family until it is nearly too late.

Winner of nine New Zealand Film Awards, this groundbreaking adaptation of Alan Duff’s hard-hitting novel set local box office records and launched the international career of director Lee Tamahori.

Director & Cast

  • Director: Lee Tamahori
  • Starring: Rena Owen
  • Starring: Temuera Morrison
  • Starring: Cliff Curtis




  • "It is powerful and chilling, and directed by Lee Tamahori with such narrative momentum that we are swept along in the enveloping tragedy of the family's life."
    Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
  • "A gut-grabber from New Zealand...that stays with you for days."
    Edward Guthmann, San Francisco Chronicle
  • "The actors...deliver authoritative yet sympathetic performances that get at the roots, or rootlessness, of their characters."
    Rita Kempley, Washington Post