Once Were Warriors Analysis

997 Words 4 Pages
Once Were Warriors is a film that focuses on domestic abuse, sexual abuse, violence, culture, and identity. I found that looking up some background on Māori culture gave me context for what the film was attempting to communicate. The Māori are a Polynesian people who are part of New Zealand culture. Modern Māori have a huge struggle with identity. The Māori were colonized by Europeans in the 1800s. Pittman says “Defining who you are [as Māori] is important. We must reclaim the right to define ourselves because it’s that constant redefining of us by the coloniser that causes schizophrenia, confusion and separation from each other.” (Huia, A. T., 2015, p. 18). The Hekes must find this struggle for identity all the more difficult because they are separated from their Māori community.
Jake, the main perpetrator in the film, had his own cultural identity crisis. Historically the Māori enslaved their own (Adah, A., 2001, p. 52). Jake himself came from a line of slaves which potentially contributed to his revilement of the Māori community. He felt that he was viewed as lesser by the Māori community and that he was not worthy of Beth. Jake constantly used violence to assert dominance. Jake first used violence at the pub in response to a man
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It left me in shock afterwards. It was so hard to comprehend the details and greater context. I felt happiness when they were happy, sadness, anger, numbness. This movie managed to suck me in completely. I think when I took time to look closer and do more research and mull everything over it gave me a very complex image of what trauma can look like. I understand that I do not have a perfect understanding of what happened in the movie and even that the movie did not necessarily capture everything perfectly. However, it was very impactful and I think gave me more insight into how culture and identity can play a role in trauma and how complicated the interpersonal aspects of trauma can

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