Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Cliff Curtis, Grant Roa, Keisha Castle-Hughes, Rawiri Paratene, Vicky Haughton
Director: Niki Caro
Genres: Indie & Art House
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Member Movie Reviews
Dawnmarie L. (Dacaria)
Reviewed on 1/25/2010...
This is such a beautiful movie, a wonderful dvd for any collection. In search for a male heir to the Maori tribe, the current leader doesn't see what all, even Nature, could see, that the true heir is already with him, his granddaughter, Pai. This is such a quiet, inspirational film. In a world where we find numerous movies where males dominate, it's inspiring to find one that focuses on the female of the species.
Shelly B. from KENNESAW, GA
Reviewed on 9/18/2009...
This is really my all-time favorite movie -- it is inspiring, and a great look into the culture of the native New Zealanders. The gal who stars is incredible.
B Doris D. (Frenchie300) from DETROIT, MI
Reviewed on 12/19/2008...
The most poetical film of the 21st century.
1 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.
Reviewed on 4/13/2008...
This movie is a favorite of mine. The photography, the culture, the gorgeous, stunning music, and the beautiful main actress, make this movie worth watching again and again. It is a very unique film and I can not think of another to compare it to. I feel like every aspect of the movie was very carefully thought out and researched and put together with a high attention to detail. I think what I like best about the movie is how it makes me feel like I am not watching actors, but watching a community of people interacting with each other. The story is beautiful, but it is not for those who enjoy a lot of action. Instead, it is a very relaxing film to watch. The movie's strongest point is the depiction of the wonderful culture of the Maori people.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Myth and modern realities mixed defty in this lovely tale
Joanna Daneman | Middletown, DE USA | 01/01/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Set in a remote Maori village in New Zealand, a chief struggles with the death of his grandson and daughter-in-law. She's given birth to twins, died in childbirth, and the boy twin, first-born son of his first-born son, is dead along with his mother. The girl twin survives, but the grandfather practically blames her birth for the tragedy. Who will succeed him and carry on the traditions that stretch back through time? Now the sacred chain of sons of sons has been broken.The love-hate relations of the entire family, grandfather, grandmother, sons, granddaughter are heartrending and heart-warming at the same time. The fight to carry on the Maori traditions in the face of losing them in a modern world, and the struggle of a girl to ascend to chiefdom when girls are forbidden to do so makes for a mythical tale.The young actress who plays Paikea, named for the whale rider who arrived from Hawaaki to found their tribe, is so good, you won't believe this is her debut. Keisha Castle-Hughes is interviewed as an extra feature on this DVD; you will marvel at her brilliance and perception. The footage of whales used plus the models of whales for the most dramatic scene of a whale beaching are astonishingly real. This is one of the most enjoyable films I saw in 2003 and I recommend it highly."
A moving modern-day NZ fable.
Veggiechiliqueen | 08/04/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Niki Caro's "Whale Rider" (based on the novel by Witi Ihimaera) is an uplifting tale of tradition and inner strength. Twelve-year-old Pai (talented newcomer Keisha Castle-Hughes) lives with her grandparents in a rural New Zealand town. Pai's mother and twin brother died in childbirth, and her artist father took off for Europe, where he now has a new (pregnant) girlfriend. Pai's brother was supposed to be the next chief of her tribe, and with his death Pai's grandfather Koro searches for a new (male) leader, failing to see that it is Pai that possesses the courage and talents of a chieftain. The movie is filled with a haunting soundtrack by Dead Can Dance's Lisa Gerrard, including samples of traditional Maori music by Hirini Melbourne. The cinematography beautifully captures the many moods of light and shadow on mountains and sea, as well as stock footage of majestic whales. "Whale Rider" is an uplifting tale of love, loss, and courage, about tradition in the face of change, and believing in yourself."
"I can't. Girls aren't allowed"
S. Calhoun | Chicago, IL United States | 11/12/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This year has been marvelous in the theatrical release of movies that aim to enrich and encourage young girls to bypass cultural boundaries that hold them back from the biological aspect that they were born female. In a similar fashion to BENDING IT LIKE BECKHAM, WHALE RIDER is a story of a young Maori girl living in New Zealand who desires to become the new tribal leader. But because Pai was born a girl her grandfather prohibits her from learning the cultural traditions. Pai is then forced to sit on the sidelines while other first-born boys are taught the ancient ways of their ancestors. Her stern and strict grandfather often reprimands her and she is determined to prove herself worthy of the post of the new chef.Although there are obvious similarities between these two films, WHALE RIDER contains a more richly textured and nuanced plot. The most compelling part of the story is the anthropological plotline whereby a culture must face its own mortality in a modern world. When old customs and traditions have lost their meaning for every day life, why keep them going? The surprises in the script are not in how it will turn out, but in the matter-of-fact honestly of the characters. Interesting view of a different culture, and well acted. WHALE RIDER is a great viewing experience."