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07/25/2005 Archived Entry: "Gordon P. reviews two movies"

Gordon P. reviews two movies: Whale Rider and Madagascar. Click on 'more' to continue.

Just saw _Whale Rider_ , a small "indy" production from about three years ago about the conflict between the desire to maintain traditional Maori
tribal values (with their implied traditional gender roles), versus the pressure to adopt and assimilate "western" values. The main character is Paikea --- the last surviving descendent of a 1000-year long line of chiefs descended from the first chief Paikea, who according to tribal legend escaped death when his canoe capsized by riding on the back of a whale. Only one problem: the current Paikea is a girl --- and according to tribal tradition, only the firstborn male can be chief... The film is beautifully and sensitively done, without becoming saccharine. And the scenery is _spectacular_ --- very similar to _The Shipping News_...

Also saw _Madagascar_ a few days ago. A fun little film, very reminiscent in flavor and tone _Ice Age_, but better done, with a more coherent script: It actually has a point, and moves along to a clear plot resolution, rather than merely being a series of amusing but ultimately pointless vignettes. And the point is quite subversive and Politically Incorrect: The "Limousine Greens" and "Hollywood Vegetarians" who believe that "Nature" is somehow "superior" to "Civilization" probably have never actually spent a significant amount of time out in "Nature," nor do they realize just how brutal and savage "Nature" is compared to Life In The Big City --- and if they ever _did_ find out what "Nature" is _really_ like, they would run screaming back to their planned, gated, Beverley Hills cocoon-communities... >:-I

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