It's the 1870s, and Māori leader Te Wheke (Anzac Wallace) is fed up by brutal land grabs. He leads a bloody rebellion against the colonial Government, provoking threatened frontiersmen, disgruntled natives, lusty wahine, bible-bashing priests, and kupapa alike to consider the nature of ‘utu’ (retribution). Legendary New Yorker critic Pauline Kael raved about Geoff Murphy’s ambitious follow up to Goodbye Pork Pie: "[He] has an instinct for popular entertainment ... The film has sweep, yet it's singularly unpretentious — irony is turned into slapstick."
For me it is blood for blood. Utu.– Matu (Merata Mita)
Music composed by John Charles; performed by the NZ Symphony Orchestra, conducted by William Southgate
Waiatas by Jane and Paul Mareikura
Māori flute by Joe Malcolm