- New Zealand
- 101 min
- Directed by: Niki Caro
- Cast: Keisha Castle-Hughes, Rawiri Paratene, Vicky Haughton, Cliff Curtis
- Language: English, Māori
In a small New Zealand coastal village, the Maori peoples claim descent from Paikea, the Whale Rider, a pseudo mythic male elder who was one with the barnacled beasts. The bloodline is supposed to lead to Koro, now an old man, who is worrying that his son Porourangi has only given him a granddaughter, Pai, who cannot carry on the dynasty. Keisha Castle-Hughes (as the chosen one, Pai) and the rest of the cast are delightful, while Caro makes maximum use of her low budget and amateur crew by working within the confines of a real east coast Maori reservation area. Touching and intelligent naturalistic drama for older kids and adults, this has enthralled audiences at film festivals across the world.
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