Whale Rider is a New Zealand family drama film from 2002. The story is about a young Maori girl Paikea, who feels the calling of her ancestors to be a leader of her people, however being a girl, she is not permitted by her grandfather to follow this calling, as old Maori customs states that only a firstborn son can inherit the leadership. But Paikea, or Pai, as she is called, will not give up on her calling, and risks defying and dishonor her deeply respected and dearly loved grandfather to be true to herself and the whispers in her heart.
I loved this movie! It shows, in such a gorgeous and sensitive way, the importance and beauty of old traditions, but how they, in order to keep alive in a modern world, need to be revised to stay true to the new wisdom of our age. I love how Pai listens to her heart, and even though that means defying her grandfather, she still continues to love and respect him. The film shows us, that not all rebellious acts are selfish, that following a calling is not about ego or individualism, it is much much deeper than that, and is rooted in something that far exceeds our understanding of the world. Something we have to stay true to, even if it will hurt the people who love us.
The ending of this movie was so beautiful it had my crying like a baby! And don’t get me started on the music! It instantly transported me to my own inner sanctuary and touched me deeply.