Paikea rode on the back of a whale, and lead his people to New Zealand. Ever since that time the first born male, descended from him has become the next chief.
So the legend tells
But when Pai is born, this changes. She is a girl, and both her mother and twin brother died in childbirth. Her father leaves his home and Pai is raised by her grand parents. Unfortunatley, her grandfather although he clearly loves Pai, is very much a traditionalist at heart and wants more than anything for a male descendent to carry on as chief after him.
The story tells how Pai tries to join in, and help her grandfather find a new leader, but he doesn’t want her help. He wants her to have nothing to do with this search, it is man’s area.
It sounds a little soppy & smaltzy and it probably is, but this is still a very enjoyable film. Once again New Zealand comes out looking wonderful.
The girl who plays Pai is wonderful in the role, and her speech towards the end of the film is great.
Based on the book of the same name by Witi Ihimaera it is a great film, with some wonderful mythical references