Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Whale Rider

An engaging film about the importance of tradition, change, and hope...

Whale Rider is a 2002 film by director Niki Caro.  The story opens with a tragedy that threatens ancient tradition in a remote Maori community. A powerful performance by 12 year-old actress Keisha Castle-Hughes earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress in 2004.

I saw Whale Rider when it was first released in the U.S. but not since.  But I was asked to speak this last weekend at the HD690 seminar for the Saint Mary's M.A. Human Development program and I got to thinking about films that resonated with me while I was doing my coursework.  Whale Rider would be a great tie-in for my friend Jim Notebaart's class on ritual.  He and I are going to watch it one of these next few weekends.

On that note, of all the neat surprises I encountered as I dug around for links to Whale Rider is that fact that you can watch it in its entirety, for free, today, right now, via a link to Hulu from the IMDB website.  Very cool.

Another delightful feature of the film is its ethereal soundtrack by Lisa Gerrard which I find to be just about perfect listening while reading.

This thoughtful, finely crafted film is worth your time.