It is 2011 and France are scheduled to play Tonga in the Rugby World Cup, hosted by Wellington. Local resident Maka (John-Paul Foliaki) is determined to see the match in person to cheer on his beloved Tongan team. The only problem is, tickets are prohibitively expensive. Undeterred, Maka enlists the help of his friend Veni (Dimitrius Schuster-Koloamatangi) and other members of his church group to attempt to raise money to buy tickets. When things don’t go according to plan, Maka uses his connections to try to buy tickets from a gang member, but this goes even worse than the fundraising fiasco. By the time Maka gathers enough money to purchase a few tickets, the match has sold out. Momentarily devastated and blamed by everyone else for his failure to secure tickets, Maka devises a new plan. He promises the city council that he has a professional level marching band that can represent Tonga at the match. And he agrees to have them perform in exchange for seats at the game. The only problem is that Maka doesn’t actually have a band. And the friends and family he finally convinces to join him have mostly never played before, and no one has instruments. In just 4 weeks can they find instruments; learn to play (and march while playing); create uniforms; convince the council, their parents and church group that they are good enough to perform; and ultimately wow the world?
Drug use; Going against cultural traditions or norms; Forging your own path when everything appears to be against you; Extreme patriotism; Social media sabotage.
Red, White and Brass has some violence. For example:
- Maka’s sister threatens to ‘smash him with a knife’, if he doesn’t help her in the kitchen.
- A character gestures threateningly to another, pretending his hand is a gun and threatening to pull the trigger.
- Some random characters verbally bully the band, belittling them and making them feel useless and ridiculous.
There are no sexual references in Red, White and Brass.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
Red, White and Brass has some use of substances. Some characters in the movie appear to be involved in illegal activities and are referred to as gang members. Pipes for smoking drugs are clearly visible in the background in some scenes.
Nudity and sexual activity
Red, White and Brass has some nudity and sexual activity. For example:
- A character has his pants pulled down and his underwear is clearly shown.
- During a rehearsal the skirt of one of the band members is accidentally yanked off (again exposing underwear) and the entire mishap is filmed and uploaded to social media.
One character wears an Adidas jumper with the logo clearly visible.
Red, White and Brass contains some coarse language and name-calling.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Red, White and Brass is a heartfelt New Zealand film based on true events. The inspirational story will be best enjoyed by mature audiences, rugby fans and anyone who appreciates the power of an underdog fighting for what they believe in and fearlessly representing their country and culture.
The main messages from this movie are that with enough faith and hard work, anything is possible; and that those who never give up on their dreams, even when absolutely everything is stacked against them, are the ones who affect real change, who inspire the world and prove to others what they have known to be true all along.
Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:
This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:
- Deceiving others, even when your intentions are good.
- Putting people down because they stray from tradition or doing things the way that they have always been done.
- Taking patriotism to the extreme.
- Using social media to humiliate or discredit others.