In 1983 director Geoff Murphy stormed out of the scrub of the nascent Kiwi film industry with a quadruple-barreled shotgun take on the great NZ colonial epic. The New Zealand wars-set tale of a Māori leader (Anzac Wallace) and his bloody path to redress 'imbalance', was the second NZ film officially selected for Cannes, and local cinema’s then second biggest hit (after Goodbye Pork Pie). A producer-driven recut was later shown in the US. This 2013 redux — led by cinematographer Graeme Cowley, with Murphy and editor Mike Horton — is Utu “enhanced and restored”.
The glorious peak achievement of the new feature film culture that burgeoned here in the 70s, Geoff Murphy’s 1983 Utu is unveiled afresh in its ravishing, pictorial splendour. Here it is, our own turbulent history, transcribed with cinematic élan — and an elegiac, absurdist vision of the devil’s mischief in paradise.– 2013 New Zealand International Film Festival programme
Utu Redux was funded by the initial equity partners in the production of the original film, the New Zealand Film Commission, the New Zealand Film Archive and Park Road Post Production, which also did all the technical restoration work. The offline edit was done at The Dub Shop and digital scanning by Weta Digital.
Score composed by John Charles.
Available to buy and rent from NZ Film on Demand.