SIFF Cinema Uptown
511 Queen Anne Avenue North, Lower Queen Anne, Seattle

  • CIN SMC Whale Rider 1600x900

The Whangara people believe their ancestor Paikea was saved from drowning by riding home on the back of a whale. The tribal group has since granted leadership positions to first-born males, believing them to be Paikea descendants. The village is in crisis when the leadership heir dies at birth, survived only by twin sister Pai (Keisha Castle-Hughes).

Shunned by her village, Pai summons the strength to challenge centuries of tradition to fulfill her destiny. An early-2000s arthouse smash hit from director Niki Caro (Mulan), Whale Rider won Toronto International Film Festival’s World Cinema audience award before enrapturing worldwide audiences and garnering preteen lead Castle-Hughes an Oscar nod for Best Actress.

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