Director: Niki Caro
Starring: Keisha Castle-Hughes, Cliff Curtis
Description: 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 (Keisha Castle-Hughes), 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.
Review: It starts of as a simple story, as a young girl goes about trying to convince her grandfather that she is to lead the village. She is tougher than any of the boys, but her grandfather won't see it. Like I said, it's a simple story but very well told. "Whale Rider" is a incredibly touching and deeply moving story. And what a wonderfull acting performance by Keisha Castle-Hughes. She has such a strong magnetism while on camera, it's easy to forget the people around her. The end of the film is simply beautiful and breath-taking. Wonderfull film!