Whale Rider—Two points of view

Husband and wife team Tony and Jennifer Lobl share their insights on Whale Rider, last summer's sleeper-hit film, now available on video and DVD.

Jenny's take ...

Set in a New Zealand coastal village, Whale Rider offers touching insights into the life of a fictional, native Maori community. Koro, chief of the tribe, has resented his granddaughter, Pai, since the day she was born. Convinced that the tribal leader must be a male, Koro is bitterly disappointed that his only surviving grandchild is a girl. So who will be the next chief? "Pai" (short for Paikea, a tribal ancestor who, according to legend, came to New Zealand riding on the back of a whale) believes that she is the rightful heir and—without any antagonism toward her grandfather—thoughtfully goes about training for the role. Perhaps most striking of the girl's traits is her uncontrived love of goodness, which gives her the freedom to follow her intuition.

A government you can love
November 24, 2003

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