Utu is a 1983 New Zealand film directed and co-written by Geoff Murphy. Anzac Wallace, who had done little acting up until that point, takes the starring role of Te Wheke, a warrior who sets out to get vengeance after British forces kill his people. The cast also includes Bruno Lawrence and Kelly Johnson. Sometimes described as "a Maori Western", Utu was reputed to have one of the largest budgets for a New Zealand film up until that time.
Set in New Zealand's North Island during the New Zealand Wars, Utu follows Te Wheke (Anzac Wallace), a Maori Captain in the British army. When Te Wheke's unit comes across a village that has been slaughtered he, recognising it as his own, deserts the army and organises a guerilla force to terrorise the invading British forces. When the unit destroys the home of Williamson (Bruno Lawrence) and kills his wife, Williamson vows to hunt down Te Wheke and kill him himself. Meanwhile, army scout Wiremu (Wi Kuki Kaa) and recent Boer War veteran Lieutenant Scott (Kelly Johnson) aim to track down Te Wheke themselves, also using guerilla warfare techniques against the will of corrupt Colonel Elliot (Tim Eliott).
|editor||Michael J. Horton|
|genre||drama historical western|
|keywords||army scout boer war british army guerilla warfare new zealand wars track down war veteran|