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Gorgeous New Zealand film about a young Maori girl, Pai, who has to fight for what she believes is her right – to be chief of her tribe, a role always reserved for boys. Unwilling to accept the gendered tradition, Pai takes on her very traditional grandfather, Koro, the current chief who refuses to accept that a girl can be leader. His son, Pai’s dad, lives overseas and is not interested in the old ways. Missing her own mother and feeling isolated, Pai finds her story tied up with the whales and her tribe’s ancestral leader. 


Director Niki Caro followed this first feature with major Hollywood productions such as Mulan and Anne with an E.

  • Year
    2003
  • Runtime
    101 minutes
  • Language
    English, Maori
  • Country
    New Zealand, Germany
  • Rating
    PG
  • Director
    Niki Caro