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Whale Rider Analysis

Decent Essays
Whale rider, a film written and directed by Niki Caro, explores the journey of a young girl Paikea and her struggles as she fights for her rightful place as chief. Facing tradition and her grandfather Koro, she tests gender norms and conventional ways of living. The film demonstrates the ways tradition and culture shape the present and future in both positive and negative ways. Relationships between family and friends, change of customs and lifestyle as well as gender roles are explored to create a new and improved society. Throughout the film Koro was unable and unwilling to see Pai’s full potential, however after many major events it becomes clear Paikea is meant to be a leader and Koro begins to trust her and open his eyes to the possibility of a bright new future for him and his tribe.

The responsibilities that Koro has as a leader, significantly affects his relationships with others. In the process of trying to keep his traditions alive, Koro ignores Pai as he does not see a purpose for her. He claims “She’s no use to me” which clearly states to Nanny Flowers, Porourangi and Paikea that it would be best if she went back to live with her father. In Koro’s mind, she is just in his way, stopping him from continuing his cultural practices. If Koro was not so stressed about his customs staying the same, he would not have neglected his granddaughter so much. Whilst Koro may have been portrayed as a slightly negative character, “He has a lot of rules to live by” as Nanny
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