Whale Rider Film Analysis

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In the film 'Whale Rider', by Niki Caro which follows the journey of a young girl named Paikea Apirana and her struggle for acceptance as a leader of her Māori iwi, and especially her grandfather. An important character in this film is Pai herself. This character has significant importance as she is used to portray numerous important ideas and themes throughout the film. Pai helps me to understand and appreciate that women can also be leaders that are equal to men if they have the right attributes. The director Niki Caro uses numerous different film techniques to convey this idea, such as; the camera shots and camera angles when Pai is giving her speech to Koro, the use of camera angles and props in relation to the dialogue when Pai if fixing the motorboat engine, and the use of props when Pai is teaching herself to use the Taiaha. The use of camera shots and camera angles while she is giving her speech to Koro, helps to show Pai's important attributes which are necessary for a good leader. One of these shots is the low angle while Pai is giving her speech. Low angles are often used to give the focus object or person a feeling or respect, even if Pai is crying, which shows that Pai is respected by the community. As she is crying during this scene, and the director still chooses to use a low angle, consequently, this shows that she is a strong, powerful, and resilient figure, which are especially important attributes of a leader.
Additionally, in this scene is a wide shot down the aisle of the hall, with Pai in the middle, and framed by the audience. Furthermore, this exhibits that the community supports Pai, even at her weakest and most fragile, while she is in tears on the stage. The support of a community is an important attribute for a leader to have, due to the importance of leadership is not just being one person, and is also the whole community. The camera shots and camera angles helped the audience as well as myself to understand the importance of Pai and helped myself and the audience understand and appreciate Niki Caro's idea that women can also be leaders that can be equal to men if they have the right attributes The use of camera angles and props in relation to the dialogue when Pai if fixing
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