About the film
ocean loss of loved one tradition grandparent grandchild relationship becoming an adult empowerment new zealand maori tradition chief modern society whale patriarch stick fighting canoe patriarchy magic realism woman director
Release Date: January 30, 2003
|Slogan||:||«In the ways of the ancients she found a hope for the future.»|
|Production Companies||:||South Pacific Pictures, Pandora Film|
|Producers||:||John Barnett, Tim Sanders, Frank Hübner|
|Writers||:||Niki Caro, Witi Ihimaera|
On the east coast of New Zealand, the Whangara people believe their presence there dates back a thousand years or more to a single ancestor, Paikea, who escaped death when his canoe capsized by riding to shore on the back of a whale. From then on, Whangara chiefs, always the first-born, always male, have been considered Paikea's direct descendants. Pai, an 11-year-old girl in a patriarchal New Zealand tribe, believes she is destined to be the new chief. But her grandfather Koro is bound by tradition to pick a male leader. Pai loves Koro more than anyone in the world, but she must fight him and a thousand years of tradition to fulfill her destiny.