Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
On the east coast of New Zealand, the Whangara people believe their presence there dates back a thousand years or more to a single ancestor, Paikea, who escaped death when his canoe capsized by riding to shore on the back of a whale. From then on, Whangara chiefs, always the first-born, always male, have been considered Paikea's direct descendants. Pai, an 11-year-old girl in a patriarchal New Zealand tribe, believes she is destined to be the new chief. But her grandfather Koro is bound by tradition to pick a male leader. Pai loves Koro more than anyone in the world, but she must fight him and a thousand years of tradition to fulfill her destiny.
“We were waiting for the firstborn of the new generation, for the descendant of the whale rider. For the boy who would be chief.”
This New Zealand coming of age film about a young girl from the Whangara tribe struggling to find her place in this traditionally patriarch society, opens with tragedy. A woman dies giving birth to twins, and only the sister survives. She is the one narrating this event while introducing us to her tribe's culture and saying what a huge disappointment this was for her grandfather who was expecting the first born son to become the tribe chief. Her father, Porourangi (Cliff Curtis), is heartbroken and against her grandfather's wishes he doesn't assume the responsibility of becoming…
Seventh watch of March around the World: New Zealand. Whale Rider aims to sketch the life of (modern) Maori, centring its focus on the story of Paikea - a twelve-year-old girl who aspires to become the tribe’s chief against the will of her conservative grandfather in whose mind such a leading role belongs to males only. It is the uplifting, crowd-pleasing and easy digestible tale you’d expect when reading the synopsis; there are unhappy moments for sure, but the finale is of course inevitably sweet. The formula is rewarding to some extent, namely as an uplifting and sometimes comical coming-of-age story about a girl defying all odds, but as a more serious drama, which it is clearly aiming for, it…
This never interested me when it came out, and I would've never watched it if it didn't crop up on the telly late last night.
I was aware of Keisha Castle-Hughes' Oscar nom, and she does perform well, perhaps lacking the wow factor worthy of a nomination.
A Maori village "led" by an old man stuck in traditions of yore, is disappointed his son only had a daughter and not the son needed to continue the line of chiefs.
It is evident the daughter is just as good a possible reciprient of the "throne" though, and everyone can see it but the old man.
And thus the story goes.
You all will know how this pans out in the end, but the whales were pretty spectacular.
As with any NZ film I think I've ever seen, Cliff Curtis appears now and then in a story a bit too eager to tug at your heartstrings, but overall well acted and paced.
An interesting look at another culture....the Whangara people from the east coast of New Zealand. Who believe their presence there dates back a thousand years or more to a single ancestor, Paikea, who rode a whale. Keisha Castle-Hughes, in an Oscar nominated performance, is outstanding....even more impressive for a 11 year old at the time of the making of the movie. Beautiful locations to see...as well as a touching grandfather/granddaughter storyline.
It is a very rare event to stumble upon a film that manages to be so pervasively universal and emotionally empathetic. The film sells itself in its covers and publicity as an allegorical film, maybe even a family/fantasy feature; opens as a metaphor through an ancient legend that pays respect to the tribal traditions of New Zealand; transcendently evolves into a parable about the power of love, family, perseverance, and respect; and closes with an unprecedented epic fashion that modern cinema is rarely afforded. What an impeccable film! What powerful revelations!
1) The opening tale speaks of a legendary whale rider named Paikea who escaped death approximately 1000 years ago when his canoe capsized by riding to shore on the…
Part of my Scavenger Hunt #2 list. Task:
7. A film about indigenous people!
I'm not the one that holds on to old traditions. I've tried to make new ones, somewhere understanding the purpose of having something meaningful of that kind to hold on to. But those attempts have also utterly failed. What feels closer to heart though is the feeling of not being at all pleased with the gender I was born with. For me, it was a feeling that passed with age (puberty) and (in my case) was probably more due to others expectations of what a girl should do and not that made me feel the way I did. It's a shitty way to feel growing up,…
Film 7: Whale Rider
Whale Rider is a beautiful movie with great symbolism. It is a bit like a modern fairytale and besides that it uses the nature of New Zealand very well. In the end you have a genuine movie about the Maori people.
Unwavering spirit through the undertow of pride, parting squalls of tradition giving way to change, awashed in destiny.
Class, UCSC - FILM 20A
''I called them and they came...''
More a film for 12 year old should-be feminist girls (and boys) than an old man like me, but still a solid film as such.
It's fun. A little slow. Not a ton to say here. Not a must-see, but you won't regret seeing it.
Serving as an uplifting triumph as well as a landmark for New Zealand cinema, Whale rider is an unbelievably emotional and powerful film, surprisingly, with the performances to support its generational and widely important ideas. It may be because I watched it in two parts at two different times, but the length of the film seemed quite short. I would have loved a little bit more content, particularly towards the end to flesh it out and round it more, nevertheless, an incredible, and sometimes entrancing wonder.
I was pleasantly surprised by this one. I really liked how they filmed this movie, and thought it was worth watching. Maybe give it a shout if you see it somewhere on dvd or video. Good acting, good story all around.
I probably have a *very* good excuse for not seeing this (or any other movies) when it came out, but it's certainly taken a long time to rectify that.
Well worth the wait.
movies directed by women,
regularly updated with new releases
[after his parents have left, thinking he is ill] "They bought it. Incredible! One of the worst performances of my…