Movie Review: Whale Rider
Whale Rider was a beautiful story filmed in New Zealand of a young Maori girl, Pai, who is the only living child of the chief's son. She is a direct descendant of Paikea, who rode atop a whale from Hawaika, the mythical homeland. However, as a girl, she cannot inherit tribal leadership. Throughout the movie, she attempts to win the approval and acceptance of her grandfather, who had wished for a boy child.
The story is a glimpse into Maori culture, showing some of the spiritual beliefs, culture, dance, and music. Although not a children's movie, it is definitely family friendly. So get your kids, or your friends and their kids, and sit down to watch this touching movie with a big bowl of popcorn. There's lots to talk about afterwards: what traditions do we follow, can we expand to include loved ones of other traditions, does tradition ever change and evolve? Then watch this video of the fierce Maori Haka ("fiery words").