Whale Rider

Topics: New Zealand, Family, Māori culture Pages: 3 (891 words) Published: May 10, 2012
Movie analysis
The Whale Rider
Together with Yavaraj Athur Raghuvir I watched the movie called The Whale Rider which deals with the issue of cultural restrains both as an individual and as a society. The story takes place in New Zealand where the Maori people of a small village claim descent from the Whale Rider, Paikea. By tradition the heir to the leadership of the Maori tribe has to be the first born son- a direct patrilineal descendant of Paikea. The Maori people faces a crisis as the current leader’s firstborn grandchild, a baby boy dies at birth while the second born twin, a baby girl survives. The girl grows up being certain of her calling to be the next tribe leader. MAIN CHARACTERS:

Pai: 12 year old girl who is the only living child in the line of the tribe’s chiefly succession Koro: Pai’s grandfather and current tribe leader
Nanny Flowers: Pai’s grandmother
Porourangi: Pai’s father
Rawiri: Pai’s uncle

SEXISM: stereotypical gender roles
Women:makes food: Koro utters “Women setup dinner”
are not to smoke: a child says: “Women should not smoke”
has to sit in the back: Koro tells Pai to move from the front row to the back row
when they have a meeting in Marae
Men:are fighters: boys are traditionally taught to use the taiaha
fix things: Koro is not pleased when Pai can fix the motor for the boat
boys do not cry: Pai finds Hemi crying and he gets upset and tells her to go away

Porourangi worked on building a Waka (canoe), a Maori cultural tradition, before the birth of his twins but due to his loss of wife and son, he stops and moves to Germany. Porourangi “refuses” to assume traditional leadership. He is acting out of distress when he moves to Germany to pursue a career as an artist, and he has learned that he can never live up to Koro’s expectations. Both are signs of internalized oppression. Hemi’s father also shows sign of...
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