Whale Rider (Maori title Te kaieke tohora) is a 2002 film based on the book The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera. It is about the struggles of a Maori girl, Paikea, to succeed her grandfather as chief of her tribe in spite of tradition dictating that the chief be male.
- Written and directed by Niki Caro.
- My name is Paikea Apirana, and I come from a long line of chiefs...
- There was no gladness when I was born.
- By being born I broke the line back to the ancient ones. It wasn't anybody's fault —it just happened.
- My Koro wished in his heart that I'd never been born. But he changed his mind.
- Why doesn't he want me?
- Wise leader, forgive me. I am but a fledgling new to flight.
- In the old days the land felt a great emptiness… it was waiting waiting… waiting to be filled up…waiting for someone to love it… waiting for a leader.
- We can learn— and if the knowledge is given to everyone— then we can have lots of leaders, and soon everyone will be strong— not just the ones that have been chosen— because sometimes even if you're the leader and you need to be strong— you can get tired…
- I wasn't scared to die.
- One young girl dared to confront the past, change the present and determine the future.
- In the ways of the Ancients, she found a hope for the future.
- Keisha Castle-Hughes - Paikea "Pai" Apirana
- Rawiri Paratene - Koro Apirana
- Vicky Haughton - Nani Flowers Apirana
- Cliff Curtis - Porourangi Apirana
- Grant Roa - Uncle Rawiri Apirana