Sons For The Return Home

Sons For The Return Home - 1979

Pacific Films - 117 min.

DVD UPC/EAN # 9418212012321

Cast: Fiona Lindsay, Uelese Petaia, Moira Walker, Lani Tupu, Alan Jervis, Amalamo Tanielu, Anne Flannery.
Screenplay: Paul Maunder, based upon the book by Albert Wendt; Director of Photography: Alun Bollinger; Editor: Christine Lancaster; Music: Malcolm Smith; Art Director: Vincent Ward; Producer: Don Blakeney; Director: Paul Maunder.

A Samoan male, Sione, and a Palagi New Zealand female,Sarah, meet while studying at Victoria University. A relationship develops quickly, but each finds the other's culture a hard adjustment. Friends and family are not supportive, particularly when she becomes pregnant, although he proposes marriage. She leaves for Australia for an abortion and he returns to Samoa. An uneven production that has definite merit. Filmed in Wellington, Taupo and Western Samoa.

Censor Rating:R16 - Review rating: C+

Sons for the Return Home clip
Official MP4 Clip


PAL VHS new copies were last seen selling from NZ sources for about $40nz, but as of January 2011, there are no known sellers of new or used copies.
As of 01 May 2012, a feature only PAL R0 DVD is available, selling for about $10nz. It is presented in its original 1.33:1 format with a 2.0 stereo English soundtrack. There are non-removeable English subtitles for spoken Samoan. There are no extras.

Aro Video of Wellington has rental copies available for any New Zealand address

Alice in Videoland of Christchurch has rental copies available for New Zealand addresses


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Reviews at

Wellington Film Society Review

IMDB User Comments

New Zealand Film Archive Info and Reviews

Art New Zealand Review

Sequence Review and Comments

"The scenario of Sons for the Return Home is one of those for which there are two possible endings - the lovers will come together at the end or they won't [...] But the film is less concerned with what happens than with the whys, and the motivations and ethnic backgrounds of the lovers. She is a white New Zealander, he is a brown Polynesian from Western Samoa. They meet when she picks him up in the library of the university of Wellington where they are students, and the film is about the impact on their affair of their contrasting cultures [...]For its theme and fresh locations alone, Sons for the Return Home deserves a chance on the foreign screens, and not just the college and festival circuits, where it should score. .." - (Variety, October 31, 1979)


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NZ On Screen Videos & Comments

Albert Wendt discusses Sons For the Return Home in a 1973 current affairs TV interview.

Information at the New Zealand Film Commission Website

Information at IMDB

Internet Movie Poster Awards

1980 - Uelese Petaia named Best Actor, Karlovy Vary Film Festival, Czecholslovakia.

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