11ENG - Visual text Assessment
Directed by: Niki Caro
The film “Whale Rider” Directed by Niki Caro is a film about the Whangara people in the east coast of New Zealand who date theier tribe back to one ancestor Paikea. The tradition of the head family is to name their first born son Paikea, but due to a freak accident at birth ,the first born male died, leaving his twin sister alive. She was then named Paikea. The naming of the girl as Pakea upsets the ways of tradition, causing her grandfather Paka to be in turmoil. He he loves his granddaughter but doesn't like the idea of tradition being changed. So Paikea has to face this, while trying to become the rightful leader.
I liked this film because it is a very good film showing the great traditions of New Zealand Maori, and the beauty of the Whangara people. The film is also hilariously funny with a twist of Maori humor. It is universal humour. It also portrays the sense of a loving family even though the grandpa is abit of a hard man. I like how the film shows us how tradition runs in every gender as Pakea says “My name is Paikea Apirana, and I come from a long line of chiefs stretching all the way back to the whale rider. Im not a prophet, but I know that our people will keep going forward, all together, with all of their strength.” There is pride in family, pride in tradition.
I like this film also because it teaches me about Maori culture, and New Zealand. If I was a foreigner I would be really interested in finding out this stuff about New Zealand. Even as someone who has grown up here I still find it interesting.
In conclusion “Whale Rider” is a valuable part of New Zealand history and I really like the film. I have to say though that it is over used in class (to watch for spare time) I still enjoy it.