Julian Arahanga

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What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted? Review


Good
More than a decade later, I'm still recovering from the emotional devastation I suffered while watching Once Were Warriors, a film about the downtrodden underclass of New Zealand's native Maori and how domestic abuse, poverty, and alcoholism have brought so many of them to their knees or even to early graves. The movie packs an almost literal punch.

What Becomes of the Broken Hearted? is the somewhat unnecessary sequel, picking up the story of the shattered Heke family a few years after the first film. Violent wife beater Jake (the overpowering Temuera Morrison) is now divorced from his long-suffering wife Beth (Rena Owen), the emotional core of the first film. Their teenage daughter is already a suicide victim, and as this film opens, their eldest son, Nig (Julian Arahanga), a gang member, is shot dead in a gang fight. How awful to see Beth agonize through another funeral when the film is only five minutes old! Give the poor lady a break!

Continue reading: What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted? Review

Once Were Warriors Review


Excellent
The opening scene of Once Were Warriors, a highly-acclaimed new film from New Zealand, demolishes any outdated notions you may have that the island is a pastoral paradise, that families live on fields of green with herds of sheep, and that all is well in this world as a whole.

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.

Continue reading: Once Were Warriors Review

Julian Arahanga

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Once Were Warriors Movie Review

Once Were Warriors Movie Review

The opening scene of Once Were Warriors, a highly-acclaimed new film from New Zealand, demolishes...

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