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What Becomes of the Broken Hearted? (film)

What Becomes of the Broken Hearted? is a 1999 film directed by Ian Mune and starring Temuera Morrison as an abusive Māori husband, Jake "the Muss" Heke. The film is based on Alan Duff's novel [2] What Becomes of the Broken Hearted? (1996), the sequel to Once Were Warriors (1990) which was made into the film Once Were Warriors (1994).

What Becomes of The Broken Hearted?
Promotional poster
Directed byIan Mune
Produced byBill Gavin
Written byAlan Duff
StarringTemuera Morrison
Clint Eruera
Nancy Brunning
Julian Arahanga
Rena Owen
Music byDavid Hirschfelder
CinematographyAllen Guilford
Edited byMichael J. Horton
Distributed bySouth Pacific Pictures
Release date
27 May 1999[1]
Running time
98 minutes
CountryNew Zealand


Jake "the Muss" Heke is fighting to save his son, Sonny, from a gang lifestyle after his eldest son, Nig, is killed in a gangland shootout. Jake goes through a period of hopelessness as he tries to restore his family to a functioning state after his anger, drinking, and violence (depicted in the first film) tore them apart. He still has trouble accepting the old traditional ways of the Māori people, but he begins to realise the importance of family and regrets what his former actions have done to them. Towards the end of the film, Jake does his best to reconcile with his family, even going so far as to save his son's life despite great personal risk to himself. This action, along with several others, serve to highlight Jake's changing characteristics.



What Becomes of the Brokenhearted? enjoyed significant theatrical exposure and, as of 2007, was the fifth highest-grossing New Zealand film in the domestic market.[2]

Critic ReviewsEdit

Nick Grant of OnFilm Magazine praised the film as being a "sequel that equals" and was maybe better than the original.[1]

New Zealand Film and TV AwardsEdit

What Becomes of the Broken Hearted? won nine of its 13 New Zealand Film Award nominations in 1999, including Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Original Music.[4][5]

DVD releaseEdit

In Australia, Becker issued the film on a double-disc with the previous film Once Were Warriors.[6]


  1. ^ a b "OnFilm Magazine". June 1999. Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help) Retrieved October 17, 2019
  2. ^ a b Duncan Petrie (2007). Shot In New Zealand. Random House. p. 205-206. ISBN 978-1-86941-791-8. Retrieved 5 October 2019.
  3. ^ "New Zealand actress Nancy Brunning 'unwell', friends crowdsourcing for life-prolonging drug".
  4. ^ "New Zealand Film and TV Awards: 1999". Retrieved 17 October 2019.
  5. ^ "Ex-Shortland Street star Nancy Brunning crowdfunding 'life prolonging' drug". Retrieved 17 October 2019.
  6. ^ OnFilm Magazine, September 2001

External linksEdit