Cleveland International Film Festival } March 22 – April 1, 2023 } Playhouse Square


Year: 1983
Country: New Zealand
Run Time: 104 minutes


Set in 19th century New Zealand and based on true events, UTU is a powerful epic adventure that concentrates on the individuality of opponents in a colonial race war. Both sides of the conflict have ambivalent loyalties but Geoff Murphy ("Goodbye, Pork Pie," "The Quiet Earth") emphasizes the Maori point of view through UTU's main protagonist, Te Wheke (Anzac Wallace). Te Wheke is an assimilated, Shakespeare-quoting corporal in the British Army who reverts to the mystical barbarism of utu, an ancient Maori law of avenging honor, in retaliation against the colonial troops' massacre of his entire village. Full of surprising humor and intoxicating visual beauty, UTU balances tragedy with an ironic jab at the absurdities of racial stereotyping.

Geoff Murphy, Keith Aberdein

Don Blakeney, Geoff Murphy

Graeme Cowley

Michael Horton, Ian John

Principal Cast
Anzac Wallace, Bruno Lawrence, Wi Kuki Kaa, Tim Elliot

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