The dead lands

The dead lands is a very unusual action film. Set in pre-colonial New Zealand, it is a tale of revenge. When young Hongi (James Rolleston), sees his tribe, including his father who was the chief, slaughtered by Wirepa (Te Kohe Tuhaka) and his men. Hongi knows that the only way to relieve the souls of the murdered people, is to kill Wirepa. With the Wirepa still trying to find him, Hongi goes into the dreaded “dead lands” to seek help from the “warrior” (powerful Lawrence Makoare), who lives in there, threatening anyone who dares to go into the forbidden zone. This Shakespearean in scope. Young Hongi is visited by his grandmother’s ghost (Rena Owen) while he is sleeping. The battle of traditional Maori martial art are impressively choreographed. For sure, the savageness of the violence will be a turn off for some, but there is so much beauty in this film, like the score by Don McGlashan and Leon Narbey’s cinematography. Enjoy!

Rémi-Serge Gratton

The dead lands

Directed by:
Toa Fraser
Screenplay by:
Glenn Standring
Lawrence Makoare
Te Kohe Tuhaka
Xavier Horan
Raukura Turei
George Henare
Rena Owen
107 min.
Rated 14A
In Maori with English subtitles

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