Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Whale Rider (in Maori: Te kaieke tohora)

Niki Caro, 2003
color feature, 101 minutes
Rated PG-13
Could be ok for ages 5 & up but prescreen it and judge for yourself!

I had to wait a few years to show my 7-year-old daughter this amazing tale of a girl who turns life around for everyone in her New Zealand Maori village, because the conflict that drives the story—her grandfather's rejection of her leadership because she is a girl—is so unsettling and sexism is a complex topic. Keisha Castle-Hughes is perfect as Paikea, a girl born into a long line of male chiefs in a society drifting away from its roots. The PG-13 rating seems to come from fly-by uses of d*** and b******, but the real caution is the harshness of grandfather, played beautifully by Rawiri Paratene, who requires a miracle to convince him of the rightness in his family line. This is a story of love among family, community, ancestors and planet that defies gender expectations all around.


Anonymous said...

Great film!
p.s. It's Keisha, not Keira.

nancy oarneire graham said...

Fixed! Thank you!