So, how do you sell a song that is the theme tune for a bleak film centred around themes of poverty and violence? The video for the theme from “Once Were Warriors” avoids all the rough bits, but still leaves plenty of menace.
Tama Renata plays his carved guitar, with plenty of whammy-bar action and intricate fingering. This is cut with scenes from the film showing gangs, fierce hakas and simmering tension that’s just going to lead to you-know-what. But there are also happier scenes – Jake filling up his plate with kai, the two gang bros doing the eyebrows, and a nice pash, and the girls sharing a laugh.
So it’s a pretty standard film soundtrack video. But yet while the song and the video don’t explicitly illustrate the violent bits of the film, we all know what’s coming.
Best bit: the eyebrows.
Director: Lee Tamahori
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision