March 1, 2023
A young Maori girl seeks to win the approval of her grandfather to ascend to chiefdom in her tribe—a custom traditionally reserved for males.
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Wednesday, March 1, 2023
The Whangara people believe their ancestor Paikea was saved from drowning by riding home on the back of a whale. The tribal group has since granted leadership positions to first-born males, believing them to be Paikea descendants. The village is in crisis when the leadership heir dies at birth, survived only by twin sister Pai (Keisha Castle-Hughes). Shunned by her village, Pai summons the strength to challenge centuries of tradition to fulfill her destiny. An early-2000s arthouse smash hit from director Niki Caro (Mulan), Whale Rider won Toronto International Film Festival’s World Cinema audience award before enrapturing worldwide audiences and garnering preteen lead Castle-Hughes an Oscar nod for Best Actress.
- Director: Niki Caro
- Principal Cast: Keisha Castle-Hughes
- Country: New Zealand, Germany
- Year: 2002
- Running Time: 101 min.
- Producer: John Barnett, Frank Hübner, Tim Sanders
- Screenplay: Niki Caro
- Cinematographers: Leon Narbey
- Editors: David Coulson
- Music: Lisa Gerrard
- Language: English, Maori
- Has Subtitles: Yes
- US Distributor: American Genre Film Archive