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 leader of her tribe in spite of tradition dictating that the chief be male.
- Written and directed by Niki Caro.
- 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. And he came on the back of a whale, the man to Iead a new peopIe. Our ancestor Paikea.
- 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?
- 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. Why though ?
- My name is Paikea Apirana and I come from a Iong Iine of chiefs stretching all the way back to the whale rider. I'm not a prophet, but I know that our peopIe will keep going forward all together, with all of our strength.
- When you extend your tongue...you're saying to your enemies.....I'm gonna eat you...your eyes will roll back...your head will be stuck on the end of my stick. FeeI the ihi...the power. Make them feeI the wehi...the fear. I want the hairs on the backs of their necks to stand up.
- Wise leader, forgive me. I am but a fledgling new to flight.
- Porourangi: Koro is just...he's just Iooking for something that doesn't exist anymore.
- Pai: A new leader? They exist.
- Porourangi: Yeah, they do, except I think it's become even more than that. In his head, your Koro, he needs a prophet.
- Pai: What's that?
- Porourangi: Well, somebody who's gonna Iead our peopIe out of the darkness and who'll make everything aIright again. OnIy probIem is you can't just decide who those peopIe are just because you want them to be, eh?
- Koro: You're going to Iearn that chant, all of you, Iearn it exactIy. And if you break the chant, you will suffer the utu. The consequences.
- Hemi: Like what? Someone dying or something?
- Koro: Like your dick'll drop off. So hold onto your dicks.
- 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.