Once Were Warriors: The Aftermath examines the “war of interpretation” surrounding Māori writer Alan Duff's 1990 novel Once Were Warriors and the 1994 film adaptation of this book by Māori film director Lee Tamahori. Notable for its depiction of domestic abuse within a Māori family, Once Were Warriors generated controversy within Aotearoa/New Zealand in the early 1990s. Alternately hailed as a positive and constructive text that lifts the lid on the myth of bicultural harmony between Māori and Pākehā (the descendants of European colonizers) and as a dangerous text that reiterates negative stereotypes about Māori, as a cultural event Once Were Warriors reveals a postcolonial milieu where representations of Māori are highly politicized. Due to a complex range of social, political, economic, and historical factors, Māori have had limited access to modes of cultural production in Aotearoa (it would take eight years...
Book Review|July 01 2009
The Cultural Politics of Once Were Warriors
Cultural Politics (2009) 5 (2): 265-270.