This unexpectedly powerful melodrama is the story of a Maori family in urban New Zealand, trying to make ends meet and coping with the overbearing presence of the family's father, a drunken brute who regularly beats those who cross him into bloodied pulp. Some of the most disturbing and explosive fight scenes on film result from this, as well as a tragically heart-breaking story line that inevitably follows. Because the family does nothing to stop the father, his madness goes unchecked. And when he shows a tinge of kindness, it is always soon replaced with retribution.
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The film is expected to continue without Mendes' involvement.