Thursday, October 2, 2008


Video Find of the Day

UTU (1983) is one of my top five favorite movies of all time. It got very little attention in the US when it was released here. It has generally been treated as either an art film or as an adventure film. It's neither. It's drama, about a clash of cultures and revenge ("utu" is often translated as revenge.) In the first scene of the first video below, TeWheke is a Maori fighting on the side of colonialists near the end of the Maori Wars in New Zealand, when his own village is destroyed by his unit. The movie follows his subsequent revenge. The second scene of the clip shows the opening of TeWheke's personal war.


UTU is unique among movies that represent a clash of cultures, in that it doesn't try to get the viewer involved by offering a hero he can identify with. There's no Kevin Kostner character in this movie.

Loving Polynesian chant, this next scene is naturally my favorite. In it, we see a unit of Maori soldiers fighting on the colonial side. They are in the hills on the trail of TeWheke and his warriors. They stop for a little uplifting mutual cheer.

Utu - Haka

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