In 1983 director Geoff Murphy stormed out of scrub of the recently reborn New Zealand film industry with a quadruple-barreled shotgun take on the great Kiwi colonial epic. Set during the New Zealand Wars, this tale of a Māori leader (Anzac Wallace) and his bloody path to redress 'imbalance' was the second local film to be selected for the Cannes Film Festival — and the second biggest local hit at that time (after Murphy's Goodbye Pork Pie). A producer-driven recut later screened in North America. This 2013 redux version is "enhanced and restored". After the excerpt, a short video explores Utu's rebirth.
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 funded by the initial equity partners behind the original film
Presented with thanks to the New Zealand Film Heritage Trust – Te Puna Ataata