The Whale Rider
A review by Sue Maybury
My view of the new movie The Whale Rider is a very personal one. I am indeed giving it all the meaning it has for me. As a New Zealander living in the heart of America, the home of patriotism, I am going to indulge myself for a moment and put on my patriotic hat. The Whale Rider is pure New Zealand. If you are willing to let it in, and yes, it is very deep… you will recognize it is also pure Jesus. It’s so simple you could miss it, but then so is A Course In Miracles until you experience the purity of its message. They are one and the same.
Having lived on the ocean in New Zealand I have spent hours upon hours playing with the dolphins, admiring the regal Orcas, and just once I got to cradle a baby pilot whale for a whole evening as its’ entire pod of 100 whales beached near my home. I haven’t swum in the ocean with a whale but I have heard their call and witnessed their magnificence with my own eyes. Someone once told me that swimming with dolphins is like dancing with angels (believe me it is); swimming with a whale, they tell me, is like meeting God. I can say that having experienced the grace of God through my own awakening, I believe that this movie is a rare gift. It takes place in a small village on the eastern most point of New Zealand, the first place on earth to see the light of day, and its essence is my gift to you, just as it’s a gift to me, because it reflects my own awakening, and my own call to play my part as Savior of the world.
Keisha Castle-Hughes, the young 12 year-old Maori girl with who plays the part of Pai, in The Whale Rider Movie, was discovered at a school audition. Her debut performance is breath taking. Her devastation is heart wrenching and her determination, perseverance, forgiveness and unshakeable trust in the communication she receives from the ‘whales’ (the Holy Spirit, her own Whole Mind) is nothing short of unconditional love. She is the Christ. She knows she IS the one. Her strength comes from within and she shines with an innocence that is irresistible. At the same time she demonstrates through her own individual responsibility the shear brilliance of the simplicity of the second coming of Christ, in each of us.
Pai stands up to her grandfather with all the intensity of St. Francis walking barefoot into the Vatican and challenging the Pope. In her grandfather Koro, I recognize my own righteousness in holding onto MY plan and my own unwillingness to recognize my Savior. Pai can see, but he is blind. She never gives up on him no matter how many times he pushes her away. She cannot NOT be herself. I shared with Koro the devastation of failure that we all try to avoid, because it is the end of ‘me’, the death of my ego. When he is ready to know the truth it is revealed to him. But only when he is ready. He is reborn through her.
The message for me is clear “don’t let the world tell you who you are”. As I listen to the voice for God; I stand in my own certainty of who I am. That is my declaration as Savior of the world. Like Pai, as I go home, I do indeed take everyone with me because having made my world I need only change my mind about the world, and everything goes home with me in my resurrection. A glorious ending inspires a new beginning.
The Whale Rider.
You will too. Go see it.