Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television

since 1987

New Tongan drama series ‘Brutal Lives’ to debut online

Set to make its online debut, Brutal Lives – Mo’ui Faingata’a is the first ever Tongan bilingual drama funded by NZ On Air.

Set in South Auckland, the six-part web series follows a fallen boxing champion who returns home after 20 years when his father dies. He must face his three children that he left behind, especially his daughter, Lupe. At the same time, an ancient Tongan spirit warrior seeks revenge for the sins of the Valu family actions over 500 years ago.

Co-Writer and Producer Sandra Kailahi says the inspiration for the story came from her and Writer Vela Manusaute’s own experiences growing up with their fathers – “some estranged moments and what that really meant in terms of who we were and growing up”.

The series is the second collaboration between Kailahi and Manusaute, and also marks the return of actor Joe Folau to the small screen.

“I wanted to be a part of this. It’s a great story, it’s a moving story,” says Folau.

“A lot of great people to work with – new faces, old faces… It’s good to be back.”

Watch the full story above.

Brutal Lives premieres on The Coconet on August 5.


By Alice Lolohea

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