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Whale Rider

The film Whale Rider by Niki Caro, is a popular film highly rated among many critics across the globe. It has been nominated for many prestigious awards including Best Actress. Set on the east coast of New Zealand, the Whangara people believe their presence there dates back one 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, 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 fulfil her destiny. When Koro decided to find a new leader in the young Whangara boys, Pai is denied the rite to sit at the front of the class and as a result of her refusal to move is asked to leave the teachings. With the help of her uncle she learns in the traditional ways and goes on to show Koro that she too can be great, that she too can inspire those around her, and that she too is capable of proudly carrying the family name. In this film many serious issues are addressed. The changing role of women, importance of cultural identity and generational differences are some of the main issues that are dealt with in Whale Rider. The novel Whale Rider was written in a time of great change for women and the issues of the 1980’s are still present today. This was a period in which women were just beginning to be truly accepted into the workforce; Maternity leave pay was granted and people were demanding that there be equal number of men and women in high positions in the workforce and other traditionally male dominated areas. Being extremely close to the print text in many ways, the film Whale Rider has addressed the issue of women’...

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Whale Rider. (1969, December 31). In DirectEssays.com. Retrieved 10:50, December 21, 2014, from http://www.megaessays.com/viewpaper/18660.html