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Whale Rider

Director: Niki Caro

NEW ZEALAND/GERMANY|2002 101 mins Suitable for ages 10+ Languages English and Maori


Based on the novel by Witi Ihimaera,this is a story of conflicting values and the necessity of change in traditional Maori culture.The ageing chief of a present day Maori community longs for the birth of a successor.12 year-old Pai (an astonishing performance from Keisha Castle-Hughes)begins to believe that it is she,but her grandfather rejects the motherless girl,believing that the new chief must be male. When a pod of whales is stranded on the beach, Pai ‘s spiritual affinity with the whales reflects the tribe ‘s founding myth that Paikea the whale rider led his people to New Zealand,and reveals her as the true heir.

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