By Owen Gleiberman
Updated March 17, 1995 at 05:00 AM EST
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Once Were Warriors

type
  • Movie

A tumultuous domestic drama from New Zealand. It centers on a family of urbanized Maori living under the shadow of its hard- souled patriarch, Jake (Temuera Morrison), a man capable of wooing his wife, Beth (Rena Owen), with verbal caresses one moment and beating her to a pulp the next. The film is daring enough to suggest that since Jake’s punches are his twisted way of connecting to Beth, they become part of the way that she connects to him as well. You can feel director Lee Tamahori doing his best to get a rise out of you. Yet his work has fire and substance, too. Watching Once Were Warriors, we’re gripped by the vision of a macho-mystical urban- tribal subculture in which violence is wound into the texture of daily experience.

Once Were Warriors

type
  • Movie
mpaa
director
  • Lee Tamahori

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