Whale Rider: Inner Strength and Determination
The film Whale Rider opens with a man, Porourangi, standing next to his wife as she gives birth to twins. Unfortunately, the mother and the son do not survive leaving only the girl who is named Paikea. This greatly upsets Koro, Porourangi’s father. As the reigning chief of the Maori people, he would have taught Porourangi’s first born son in the ways of their ancestors to become the next chief (Wald 2006). After experiencing such a devastating loss, Porourangi leaves Paikea to be raised by her grandparents. Koro, however, refuses to accept Paikea as the one to inherit the sacred position (Whaleriderthemovie.com). The time of the film then shifts forward to when Paikea is grown and attending middle school. Porourangi returns home from Europe, now a celebrated international artist, and Koro hopes that Porourangi will become his successor (Whaleriderthemovie.com). However, a bitter argument erupts as Porourangi has no intention of becoming the next chief claiming that physically and emotionally he has moved away from his people (Whaleriderthemovie.com). Porourangi decides to leave and accompanying him this time is Paikea. As they begin the journey back to Europe, Paikea decides to return knowing she was meant to be the next chief (Whaleriderthemovie.com). Koro, still without a successor, decides to call on his people to train their first born sons (Whaleriderthemovie.com). Through a process of teaching them tribal lore, chants, and warrior techniques; he is certain the next chief will be revealed (Whaleriderthemovie.com). However, during this process, Paikea tries to learn along with the other boys which greatly angers Koro. Paikeai is still not deterred from learning and trains in secrecy even with the help of Uncle Rawiri. The final test for the boys in training is to retrieve Koro’s whale tooth after he tosses it into the ocean. Each of them fails to retrieve it, greatly discouraging Koro....
Cited: Murray, Fiona, Winifred Jackson, and Brian Finch. "Whale Rider: A Teacher Resource for Class Cinema Viewing." New Zealand Film Commission. 2002. Web. 3 Apr. 2011. <http://www.nzfilm.co.nz/getattachment/5033f30a-a81e-450c-b27e-5f5ded74edb8/Whale_Rider_Study_Guide.aspx?disposition=attachment>.
Wald, Michael. "Whale Rider." Murdoch University. 24 Apr. 2006. Web. 3 Apr. 2011. <http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:Y_WKunFTA1kJ:wwwmcc.murdoch.edu.au/ReadingRoom/film/dbase/2006/whale2.doc+whale+rider+summary&hl=en&gl=us>.
WHALE RIDER the Movie. Web. 03 Apr. 2011. <http://www.whaleriderthemovie.co.nz/html/index.html>.
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