★★★★ "Heartfelt and engaging Kiwi gang movie is a stunning achievement" - Dominion Post.
Inspired by stories from New Zealand’s boys homes and the early history of our gangs, Savage follows Danny across 3 different ages at important junctures that push and pull him towards and away from gang life.
Each chapter of Danny’s life is a complete short story set in a defining time for NZ gangs: from the abusive state-run boy’s homes of the sixties; to the emerging urban gang scene in the seventies where disenfranchised teenagers created their own families on the streets; to the eighties when gangs became more structured, criminal, and violent.
Together the three chapters combine to create a deeper look at a boy who grows up to become the brutal enforcer of a gang; to understand how he got there.
Savage is about Danny’s search for belonging and connection, and explores the notion of family. Danny is torn between his real family and his gang family, and must choose where he belongs.
★★★★★ - Wellington Regional News
"Essential viewing for Kiwis... Never before has a New Zealand film taken such an unrestrained look at our society... one of the best films of the year."
★★★★ - The Guardian
"This touching character study of a live-wire gang member has a bruising moral weight and pulsing vulnerability."
"Fresh... raw... emotional... a powerful, important and well crafted portrayal" - Hollywood Reporter.
"An authentic and often stunning trip. Engrossing and ultimately very moving." - Graeme Tuckett, Stuff
★★★★ - The List