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What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted (1999, Temuera Morrison, Clint Ereura)



Based on Alan Duff’s novel, as was Lee Tamahori’s Once Were Warriors, What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted is a sequel to the story of Jake (TAMUERA MORRISON), still full of rage but now having moved away from his family and with a new girlfriend. But he bears the sorrow of the suicide of his daughter Grace, who was the subject of Once Were Warriors, driven to death by the abuse, both mental and physical, that her family heaped on her. And then one of his sons, Nig (JULIAN ARAHANGA) is killed in a gang fight. As Jake’s other son Sonny (CLINT ERUERA) seeks revenge, so Jake tries to come to term with his drinking, violence and the mess his life has become.

Duff’s novels portrayed the poverty and subsequent social problems that sections of New Zealand’s native Maori population endure and these are accurately, sometimes viciously translated to the films (the gang fights are particularly brutal) but, in the same way Duff has not been ostracised by his community, neither were the films rejected in New Zealand, instead educating Kiwis about the problems on their own doorstep.

Morrison and Eruera turn in powerful, visceral performances of impotent frustration caused by both their environment and their own interpretations of true masculinity and, while the females tend the be more sketchy but NANCY BRUNNING as Sony’s girlfriend is by turns fiercely violent and touchingly tender while RENA OWEN as Beth, Jake’s estranged wife, is heart-breakingly fragile.

production details
New Zealand | 108 minutes | 1999

Director: Ian Mune
Script: Alan Duff,

Temuera Morrison as Jake Heke
Rudolph Alford as McClutchy
Julian Arahanga as Nig Heke
Tony Billy as Charlie
Tu Brown as Pub Looker
Nancy Brunning as Tania Rogers
Ross Buckingham as Pool Player
Shannon Claire II as Bar Dancer
Tammy Davis as Mookie
Eru Potaka-Dewes as Minata Kahu
Steven Dyhrberg as Pool Player
Taungaroa Emile as Boogie Heke
Rod Enoka as Partygoer
Clint Eruera as Sonny Heke
Clive French as Site Manager
Otis Frizzell as Pub Looker
Anaru Grant as Kohi Douglas
Joseph Kairau as Huata Heke
Steve Kanuta as Bouncer
Paul Kingi as Partygoer
Sonny Kirikiri as Bobby
Lehi Kohaia as Partygoer
Lawrence Makoare as Grunt
Warwick Morehu as Gary Douglas
Charlie Murphy Samau as Hayden
Mark Nua as Api
Alan O’Halloran as Pool Player
Rena Owen as Beth Heke
Rawiri Paratene as Mulla Rota
Anamea Ridgley as Selecta
Steve Sharrock as Gate Bro
Tahei Simpson as Gloria
Aravinder Singh as Taxi Driver
Pete Smith as Apeman
Edna Stirling as Rita
Roi Taimana as Chug
Hope Thompsons as Polly Heke
Thomas Tino as Bouncer
Lionel Waaka as Leo
Toa Waaka as Leo
Allan Wilkins as Barman
Janita Wright as White Chick