tek's rating: ½

Whale Rider (PG-13)
Filmrise; Great but Forgotten; IMDb; Rotten Tomatoes; Shout! Factory; South Pacific Pictures; TV Tropes; Wikipedia
streaming sites: Amazon (IMDb); Google Play; iTunes; Vudu; YouTube

A New Zealand film, set in a small Maori town, the movie focuses on a girl named Paikea (Keisha Castle-Hughes). She lives with her grandfather, Koro, the current chief I guess, who is upset that there is no male heir to become the next chief. His own son Porourangi, Pai's father, left town to pursue his artistic career, of which Koro disapproves. Of course, Koro's other son, Rawiri, can't be chief because... well, I guess because he's not the firstborn. So of course, in Koro's mind, Pai becoming chief is out of the question, because she's a girl. But despite her grandfather's attitude, she loves him, and loves Maori traditions, even though he won't let her learn things she wants to learn. Koro starts a school to teach boys these traditions, fighting styles and whatnot. But her uncle Rawiri secretly trains Pai. And she seems to be able to call to the whales. And um, I dunno what else to say. Don't want to give away the end, of course. Anyway, I definitely liked it, but I also don't feel any particular need to see it again...

coming of age index