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Movie Review: Whale Rider

June 3, 2004
Movie Review: Whale Rider

We finally got a chance to catch Whale Rider last night, and let me tell you folks — this very well may be the single most powerful film I’ve ever seen.

The film asks a simple question: what do you do when you’ve been waiting for a powerful chief to lead your people into the future and, when you’re presented with that chief, it’s a girl, not a boy? Do you even recognize what’s happened, or are you too hidebound in tradition to realize what’s happening?

Set in a present day New Zealand community of Maori, this film doesn’t offer any surprises — you can see what’s going to come from a mile away, but it’s the journey to that point that’s truly breathtaking.

I won’t spoil a thing about it, just rent the film.

In a year where Peter Jackson’s masterpiece was finally given the accolades it deserved at the Oscars, two films that I’ve seen so far were actually better than The Return of the King: House of Sand and Fog, and now this. House of Sand and Fog was probably too depressing to win, but this one is a triumph.

I dare everyone who watches it to not tear up by the end of the film.

Watch this film — you won’t regret it.

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