Lee Tamahori’s Once Were Warriors is a multiple award-winning film based on Alan Duff’s novel by the same name.  In this 1994 film, Lee Tamahori narrows his focus on an urban Maori family rife with poverty, domestic abuse and violence.  The film was a tremendous box office success in New Zealand and offers a poignant study on the societal condition of one indigenous people group as they, like other tribal people overcome by the modern world, have turned their anger inward towards self-destruction.,Students writing film reviews of Lee Tamahori’s Once Were Warriors should study the background of the Maori people before watching the movie.  Though the themes within the movie are universal, much of the rich meaning will be missed without an understanding of the Maori history and culture and their current conflict with modern traditions.  Knowing that the Maoris were a warrior civilization who conquered New Zealand sometime before the 1300’s AD may shed light on their current societal struggles and misplaced violence.,Film reviews of Once Were Warriors  should summarize the plot of the movie.  Students may accomplish this by viewing the movie.  However, studying sources on Once Were Warriors and reading other film reviews of Once Were Warriors will help students analyze the major themes.  Additionally, comparison to other movies with themes of violence and social tension may be helpful.  For example film reviews on The Silence of the Lambs, A Clockwork Orange and Crash may help students tie down otherwise nebulous ideas.,By using the many readily available research sources on Lee Tamahori’s Once Were Warriors, students may develop a film review which, besides simply giving an opinion on the acting and directing, also analyzes the themes explored in the movie.  Being able to discern the art within a film production helps students separate valuable films from all of the dross they will encounter.

Film Reviews of Lee Tamahori’s “Once Were Warriors”

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