Magazine article New Internationalist

Whale Rider Directed by Niki Caro

Magazine article New Internationalist

Whale Rider Directed by Niki Caro

Article excerpt

I cried my eyes out through much of this film. It's not that I'm a big softy, but that Whale Rider is so good at showing how a deep abiding love can go hand-in-hand with unyielding harshness.

Keisha Castle-Hughes is superb as 12-year-old Pai, granddaughter of a Maori tribal leader, Koro. Pai has great love and respect for Koro who, in the absence of her father, has brought her up. He has great affection for her - Pai is an outstanding child. Thoughtful, emotionally mature, courageous and resourceful, she is a natural leader of their coastal community.

But Koro is a traditionalist - only a man can lead the tribe. He excludes her from tribal initiations. Worse, he traces their ills in the modern world to Pai's birth - when her mother died in childbirth, her twin brother - Koro's hoped-for future leader - soon afterwards, and her father left for Europe. …

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