whale rider summary

The movie is about Pai, a 12 year old who is the only living child in the line of the tribe’s chiefly succession because of the death of her twin brother and mother during childbirth. The leader is usually a male, and because pai is a female, her grandfather, koro is unhappy about her birth. As pai grows up, she finds that living with her grandfather is not easy, because even though he formed sort of an affectionate bond with her ; carrying her to school every day on his bicycle, he also blames her for the death of her twin mother, brother and troubles in the tribe.

Later in the story,Pai shows an interest in becoming a chief, she even learned the traditional songs and dances, but her grandfather is not pleased. Pai became sad and unhappy because she feels that even though she is a girl she can still become the leader. When Koro decides to start a traditional chief training school ,Pai, with the help of her uncle follows the lessons and learns to use a fighting stick. When her grandfather find out he gets upset, and mad. His relationship with paikea also gets ruined when the boys at the training school could not get koro’s whale tooth necklace from the ocean.

Pai wanted to fix this situation, so she invites him to her school for a show. However, as he is preparing to leave, he saw lots of whales near the beach. The next day the village members attempt to put the whales back into the river, but they were unsuccessful. Koro then blames paikea for all the troubles. When Koro walked away , pai decided to climb onto the back of the whale and lead the whales back to sea. In the meantime, Nanny Flower (Koro’s wife and Pai’s grandmother) shows Koro the whale tooth which Pai recovered from the ocean.

When Pai is found and brought to the hospital, Koro begs for her forgiveness. In the end she became a leader, and koro was proud. I was able to relate to the film, because I believe that our country, Canada is an androcentric country. according to the dictionary, it means it is centered or focused on men, often to the neglect or exclusion of women. Men are often thought to be stronger and better than women. I feel like pai was also in this situation, because koro was resented pai, because he felt that because she was a girl. She wasn’t strong enough to be a chief.

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