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"In the ways of the ancients she found a hope for the future."
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Whale Rider (2003) is a tale of family generational love, evolution, traditions, and conflict, set in contemporary New Zealand. The film also contains a strong leadership theme. The saga details the trials and tribulations of a girl named Pai, played by Keisha Castle-Hughes. Pai attempts to gain respect and affection from her tough and difficult grandfather Koro, played by Rawiri Paratene. Pai and Koro are of the ancient, independent, and proud Maori. However, as a firstborn female, Pai cannot assume tribal leadership from her grandfather. This is a big disappointment for them both.

In order to compensate, Koro begins some instruction in the old and honored ways. His pupils are all of the tribal firstborn male offspring. Pai, with the assistance of her Uncle, played by Grant Roa, becomes a secret student. However, her grandfather remains stubborn, as others begin to clearly see her emerge as a leader. She does finally prove that she is completely worthy, through an incredible and epic act of valor.

Her grandfather learns that leadership is never confined to gender or birth order. This results in the family, the tribe, and all around them, all coming together. Throughout, Pai uses her ability to call the tribal sacred whales, something that others cannot do. She also proves that, although traditions must be revered and practiced, some contemporary life's issues ought to be addressed.

Whale Rider is an Drama, Kids & Family movie that was released in 2003 and has a run time of 1 hr 41 min. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.5 and a MetaScore of 80.

Whale Rider is available to watch free on Tubi TV, The Roku Channel Free, Pluto TV, IMDb TV, Hoopla and stream, download, buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV+, Amazon, Vudu, Google Play, YouTube VOD online. Some platforms allow you to rent Whale Rider for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.

| 2003 | 1 hr 41 min | 7.5/10 | 80/100
Keisha Castle-Hughes, Rawiri Paratene, Vicky Haughton, Cliff Curtis
Niki Caro
Produced By
John Barnett, Frank Hübner, Tim Sanders

Also starring Keisha Castle-Hughes

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