Film as a Mirror: Redefining Witi Ihimaera’s The Whale Rider


  • Arya Uthaman Assistant Professor in English St. Joseph’s College for Women (Autonomous) Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India



Film, Gender, Maori Culture and Tradition, Myth


This article attempts to discuss the cultural and comparative analysis between the visions in the novel The Whale Rider and the cinematic adaptation of the same. The novel and the cinema concentrated on the central character in the film Paikea and her struggles to break out of the hyper masculine orthodox visions of her grandfather Koro. It would then try to understand the implications of the cinema and its visions on gender and its reverberation and how it resonate the modern world in the cultural and political landscape of the present New Zealand and modern people. Maori culture of New Zealand also plays a big role in this novel and cinema. It connects its people both with each other and with the land. In the cinematic version we can see the traditional story is incorporated into the modern setting. The film used so many strategies, these includes extending the myth, re-applying it, or subverting it. But both film and the cinema tries to convey the main social issue the function of woman in a world controlled by men.  


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How to Cite

Uthaman, A. (2019). Film as a Mirror: Redefining Witi Ihimaera’s The Whale Rider. SMART MOVES JOURNAL IJELLH, 7(11), 8.