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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

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Availability

Available to purchase from the Filmshop.

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Rights

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

Music

Music by Jonathon Crayford.