Once Were Warriors caused a sensation when it first appeared in cinemas in NZ and overseas 20 years ago.
The film, based on Alan Duff's novel, gave us an unflinching portrayal of urban gang and domestic violence, alcoholism, sexual abuse and suicide. While it had its critics, Once were Warriors grossed $30 million world-wide.
More importantly, the first indigenous blockbuster encouraged a new generation of Maori filmmakers and actors.
It launched careers too, including that of director Lee Tamahori.
To mark the movie's 20th anniversary, one of the film's young stars, Julian Ara-nanga has tracked down his Heke Whanau for a reunion.