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Hero image for Making Utu

Making Utu

Television (Full Length) – 1982

Director Gaylene Preston captures the making of Utu — Geoff Murphy's epic Western set during the 1870s land wars. "...it’s like football innit? You set up the event and cover it…" says Murphy, while shooting a battle scene. Making Utu shows it's far more complicated than that: from building sets in isolated locales, to explosions and extras in cardboard hats, to the cultural sensitivities of recreating a tangi. Casting director Merata Mita argues the time is right for an honest look at New Zealand's history, while actor Martyn Sanderson waxes lyrical about his fake head. Read more about the documentary here, and about the movie here.     

Utu made extremely complex statements about the absurdity of trying to alter people's political and philosophical thinking by shooting bullets into their heads.
– Geoff Murphy, in a 1985 Onfilm magazine interview by his brother Roy

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