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Whale Rider Film (Trailer and Excerpts) – 2002 Adaptation Drama Māori

Whale Rider

Film (Trailer and Excerpts) – 2002 Adaptation Drama Māori

PG Parental Guidance
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Set in the East Coast town of Whāngārā, Whale Rider tells the tale of a young Māori girl, Pai (Keisha Castle-Hughes), who challenges tradition and embraces the past in order to find the strength to lead her people forward. Directed and written by Niki Caro, the film is based on Witi Ihimaera's novel The Whale Rider. Coupling a specific sense of place and culture with a universal coming-of-age story, Whale Rider became one of the most successful and acclaimed New Zealand films released internationally. It also won audience choice awards at the Sundance and Toronto Film Festivals.

The genius of the movie is the way it sidesteps all of the obvious cliches of the underlying story and makes itself fresh, observant, tough and genuinely moving ... this is not a simplistic fable but the story of real people living in modern times.
– Roger Ebert in a Chicago Star-Times review, 20 June 2003


Available on DVD from South Pacific Pictures

Available to buy and rent from NZ Film On Demand 

World premiere at the Toronto Film Festival, on 9 September 2002 


Made with financing from the NZ Film Production Fund, the NZ Film Commission, Filmstiftung NRW (Germany) and NZ On Air