Given an unprecedented standing ovation at its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, and met with great praise from the likes of Roger Ebert (“…the genius of the movie is the way it sidesteps all of the obvious cliches or the underlying story and makes itself fresh, observant, tough and genuinely moving), Whale Rider tells the story of a 12-year old Maori girl whose ambition is to become the chief of the tribe.
Only males are allowed to ascend to chiefdom in a Maori tribe in New Zealand. This ancient custom is upset when the child selected to be the next chief dies at birth. However his twin sister, Pai (Keisha Castle-Hughes), survives. At age 12, she enlists the help of her grandmother (Vicky Haughton) and the training of her uncle (Grant Roa) to claim her birthright. But to break with convention, she'll have to do the impossible: win over her ultra-traditional grandfather (Rawiri Paratene).
Run time: 101 minutes
Movie lovers' movies!
Cinema New Bedford showcases acclaimed films from around the world that feature great storytelling and a variety of perspectives. Join us each Tuesday to experience award-winning films that harness the power of feeling to entertain and enlighten.
This series is curated by Mocha James Herrup, PhD, (they/them), founder of the New Bedford Film Society. Mocha James draws from their work as a film professor, arts and culture writer, and film festival programmer to bring films to New Bedford that audiences might not otherwise get to experience.