Whale Rider. NZ/DE 2002. Director: Niki Caro. Screenplay: Niki Caro. 97 min. Feature film. OV w/Ger. sub. FSK 6. Recommended from age 10.
The inhabitants of the New Zealand village of Whangara believe that their ancestor Paikea reached land more than a thousand years ago on the back of a whale. Since then, a male descendant of the whale rider has held this title in every generation and is the head of their tribe. However, when the offing bearer dies in childbirth and only his twin sister survives, leader Koro finds himself unable to accept his granddaughter Pai as the future chief. The twelve-year-old must rebel against him and a thousand-year-old tradition to fulfill her destiny. Director Niki Caro takes a touching look at a courageous girl’s struggle against outdated traditions and for love and recognition.