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Making Utu Television – 1982 Documentary Māori

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This documentary sees director Gaylene Preston go behind the scenes during the making of Geoff Murphy's Utu — his ambitious 'puha western' set during the 1870s land wars. “It’s like football innit? You set up the event and cover it …” says Murphy, preparing to shoot a battle scene. In this excerpt, the film’s insistence on cultural respect is conveyed: Merata Mita discusses the beauty of ta moko as Anzac Wallace is transformed into Te Wheke in the make-up chair, and Martyn Sanderson reflects on having his head remade to be blown off: “What’s the time Mr Wolf?”.

In New Zealand today we [still] have Māori fighting Māori, Māori fighting Pākehā, Pākehā fighting Pākehā — it's very hard to draw the line.
– Utu casting director Meteta Mita, on why the good guys aren't necessarily the boys in blue and bad guys aren't always in harakeke skirts

Produced by

Rights

The copyright for this title is held by Gaylene Preston Productions and Geoff Murphy.

Music

Music by Jonathon Crayford.

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Available to purchase from the Filmshop.

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