In the 1860s Sarah O'Brien (Samantha Morton, a young Irish woman, finds herself and her half Māori son caught between two worlds – that of the local Iwi and the Colonial army who are preparing for battle against them.
When her son is taken by his grandfather Sarah ventures up river to find him. She is captured and skilled as a surgeon she is taken to help cure the sick chief. When she succeeds she earns a new level of respect. Reunited with her son she escapes from the ensuing battle between the tribe and the Colonial army but ultimately is forced to choose where she belongs.
Her son tattoos a moko on her chin to help to symbolise her choice.
finds themselves on both sides of the turbulent wars between British and Maori during the British colonization of New Zealand.
Linda Wall was the makeup designer; Tinsley Studio was responsible for the tattoo makeups; Veronique Keys was the prosthetics supervisor; Katherine Brown, Kerrin Jackson, Antony McMullen & Jess Reedy were the prosthetics & special makeup effects artists.