Social Realism In Once Were Warriors

800 Words4 Pages
The tough, muscular characters in Lee Tamahori 's film "Once Were Warriors" are accustomed for fighting. And they need no fighting ground: their hostilities are played out in the bedroom, in front of the children or in crowded bars. In the first few minutes of the movie, Mr. Tamahori offers social realism with a kick, portraying Maori New Zealanders whose ties to their own history and culture are slowly crumpling. Left struggling in a hostile urban world, they have lost touch with their tribal past to become part of a rootless global subculture. The suffering seen here would be familiar anywhere in the world. Having said he hoped to make a film that would have viewers ' sitting on the end of their chairs, Mr. Tamahori fully accomplished that goal. "Once Were Warriors," the tale of vicious brawls within the family of Beth Heke (Rena Owen) and her problematic husband, Jake (Temuera Morrison), in a brutally effective family drama. Despite being rough around the edges and painful to watch at times, it still presents a raw, disturbing story of domestic relations. This film 's stars are frighteningly realistic, in part because they both look like pure pain. Beth has tied herself to a violently abusive husband, but "Once Were Warriors" makes it clear that she is nowhere near a victim. Ms. Owen, a fiery actress with the sad, sensual look that only she could perform, radiates a sense of strength that nobody can break. Against her better judgment, Beth falls for Jake 's charm, even
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