New Zealand in the 1870's. A Māori village is massacred by colonial troops. A Māori warrior vows to seek retribution. He attacks a farmhouse, where the farmer's wife is killed. The farmer sets out to get revenge for her death. Two men...each seeking vengeance.
It's the 1870s, and charismatic Māori leader Te Wheke is fed up by brutal land grabs. He takes up arms and leads a bloody rebellion against the colonial NZ Government. In the process he provokes everyone affected by his actions — threatened frontiersmen, disgruntled natives, lusty wahine, bible-bashing priests, and kupapa amongst them — to consider the nature and meaning of ‘utu’ (retribution). Geoff Murphy’s ambitious, energetic film takes the shotgun approach in its attempt to be the great New Zealand (colonial) epic.