Maori On Your Back

Whale Rider

The preternaturally charming Keisha Castle-Hughes, who earned a well-deserved Oscar nomination for her work, stars in this 2003 film that achieved widespread popularity despite its modest art-house origin. Castle-Hughes plays Paikea, granddaughter of a chieftain who becomes convinced that she is destined to lead the tribe despite the traditional prohibition against women holding positions of political power in Maori culture. Struggling against her culture and her family, Paikea must prove that she could do the job better than any man. The film is a thoughtful and moving exploration of gender roles, familial ties and the functions of tradition in society. Bring a beach chair and a picnic dinner to this outdoor screening. But leave the harpoons at home. That's just tasteless.
Sat., June 28, 7:30 p.m., 2008

 
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