Set in pre-colonial New Zealand - hundreds of years before the birth of James Cook - during a time of tribal power struggles.
Te Ahi, the protagonist, arrives unannounced at a small clan settlement to the surprise of the wary inhabitants. He quickly proves to be a useful hunter and competent warrior. Within days a band of ruthless marauders descend on the village and try to take control. Through flashbacks we learn how Te Ahi came to be there at that instant, his mastering of the weapons of Maori warfare, and why he has unfinished business with the bandit's leader.
The style of this film is similar that of Akira Kurosawa's Samurai films or Sergio Leone's Westerns; gritty realism driven by strong characters, punctuated by sharp bursts of violence, and with minimal dialogue (in Maori).