Release Dates: 1994

Official Websites: www.newline.com


Her only chance for the future is to embrace the power of her past.

A family in crisis, a life in chaos… Nothing is more powerful than a mother’s love.

Production Company: Communicado

The Hekes, a contemporary Maori family living in urban New Zealand, live with domestic abuse and the societal problems of being treated as outcasts. Beth Heke (played by Rena Owen, Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, AI: Artificial Intelligence), a housewife, is physically and emotionally abused by her alcoholic husband Jake (Temuera Morrison, Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, Vertical Limit). However, Beth is a survivor and it takes more than a few knocks to conquer her spirit. Drawing on her own Maori roots, Beth fights the violent forces inside and outside her home to turn adversity into triumph and create new hope for herself and her family.

Crew: Lee Tamahori (director); Riwia Brown (screenwriter); Robin Scholes (producer)

Cast: Rena Owen as Beth Heke, Temuera Morrison as Jake Heke, Mamaengaroa Kerr-Bell as Grace Heke, Julian Arahanga as Nig Heke, Taungaroa Emile as Boogie Heke, Rachael Morris Jr. as Polly Heke, Joseph Kairau as Huata Heke, Cliff Curtis as Bully, Pete Smith as Dooley, George Henare as Bennett and Mere Boynton as Mavis

Studio: New Line Cinema / Manga Pacific

Other Info


Director Lee Tamahori began his career as a commercial artist and photographer. After Once Were Warriors, he went on to direct movies like Mulholland Falls and the James Bond film Die Another Day. He also directed an episode of the SopranosToodle-Fucking-oo.

Tamahori is also directing the Ice Cube film XXX: State of the Union, which is being released summer 2005.

Temuera Morrison, who plays the abusive father Jake Heke, has gone on to play character roles in many hollywood movies, including Vertical Limit and Star Wars: Episode ll: Attack of the Clones.

The film was shot on location in New Zealand and received U.S. distribution only after it became a hit in its home country.

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