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The Best New Zealand Film of All Time: Quentin Tarantino’s Favorite Movie Revealed


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One of Quentin Tarantino’s favorite movies

Quentin Tarantino is a big fan of movies and he likes to make it known. In 2019, during an interview with RNZ, a New Zealand public service channel, while promoting The Hateful Eight, the director was asked about his favorite New Zealand film. And of course, Tarantino had an answer ready. He mentioned Utu, a revenge-themed western released in 1983. Set in late 19th century New Zealand, the film follows the adventures of Te Wheke, played by Anzac Wallace, a Maori captain in the British army. Seeking vengeance after his relatives were killed and terrorized by colonial troops, Te Wheke embarks on a bloody quest. According to Tarantino, Utu is “the best New Zealand film of all time”.

A film lost… then saved from oblivion!

When it was first shown at the Cannes Film Festival in 1984, Utu received positive and even enthusiastic reviews. However, it quickly faded into obscurity. Over time, it became increasingly difficult to find copies of the film, leading to its decline in popularity. Then, in 2013, director Geoff Murphy decided to release a Director’s Cut version of Utu, thirty years after its initial release. This allowed moviegoers to finally discover the complete version of the film. Now, the question remains: which version did Quentin Tarantino see when he declared it as “the best New Zealand film of all time”? Unfortunately, the film is not available for streaming in France, but a remastered Blu-Ray version does exist.

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