DAWN RAID, The Movie

today01/08/2021 19

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The rise, fall and spiritual rebirth of the most iconic and influential music label in Pacific history, Dawn Raid Entertainment.

 Dawn Raid is the story of two Manukau Polytechnic students, Andy Murane and Tanielu Leaosavai’i (aka Brotha D) who turned a bootleg t-shirt business and Hip-Hop night at a local bar in Otara into the influential Dawn Raid Entertainment empire. From humble beginnings to fame and fortune, Andy, Brotha D and the Dawn Raid artists gave voice to a disenfranchised Pacific community, for which the violence of the dawn raids, twenty years previously, was still raw. But the bravado and contempt for the status quo that drove Andy and Brotha D to the top, was also the unravelling of their empire. Unpaid tax debts, rifts between artists, and a feeling of betrayal and failure underpinned the downfall of Dawn Raid Entertainment, though not before they had created an immeasurable musical legacy that would pave the way for future New Zealand artists to reach international audiences. 

“That was some crazy superstar shit that we were experiencing,” Mareko says in an interview.

Dawn Raids key players discussed the turmoil that was happening and had said that financially things were not panning out. 

“Everything that we had worked for was slipping through our fingers,” says Savage in one interview. 

“We have a dark part of our heart from what happened,” Murnane says, implying some kind of undefined betrayal from Dawn Raid’s business partners.

 Director Oscar Kightley says overall the movie is a story of rebirth. 

“Of a culture, a people, an art form. And of the legacy that rebirth has left behind.”

The movie is set to release January 21st.

Written by: Samantha Watts-Hopkins

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