First of all, I'd like to take the opportunity and be nice by thanking all of you for reading this brand new addition to MovieWeb and by continuing to send in your questions. Alright, now that we've got that out of the way, no more niceness.

One of the nice things about movies, is that occasionally they are able to expose us to cultures or events that we otherwise remain oblivious to. The danger, however, is that some of us accept these stories at face value without further research into their accuracy. Luckily, none of my readers would dare do that. Right? At any rate, I caught a premiere screening of WHALE RIDER last night. The film takes place in present day New Zealand, and follows the story of a girl named Pai (Keisha Castle-Hughes) who is raised by her grandparents after her father, an artist, leaves New Zealand. Her grandfather, the present chief, is supposed to appoint a new chief since his own son has no interest in taking on the role. Pai feels that she can serve as the new chief, but her grandfather opposes this idea and hurts her emotionally, despite her achievements, because she is just a girl. There was even a traditional Maori performance before the show. So how could I pass it up? All in all though, it was quite an interesting little film, that is likely to make it big, with all that buzz circling around it. It seems that the distributor is trying very hard to build a huge awareness for the film through word-of-mouth. Perhaps it will work! The film's rating of Rottentomatoes is still 92% fresh and Roger Ebert gives it 4 stars. The movie even won the audience awards at the Toronto and Sundance film festivals, played to standing ovations, and according to Ebert, left audiences in tears. I suggest you see it. You may even learn something.

There are two more interesting films that have recently made it unto a DVD that may further your education. The first is called EVELYN and stars Pierce Brosnan as a father who takes on the supreme court and sets a precedent in Ireland when he children are taken away because he is a single father. The other film is the much acclaimed RABBIT-PROOF FENCE, which follows the courageous plight of three little girls from an internment camp after being separated from their aboriginal mother because they are half-casts (half aboriginal/half white). They were victims of an Australian government policy to train aboriginal children as domestic workers and integrate them into white society, tearing away their own culture and traditions. The children who have come under the wrath of this policy became known as Australia's "Stolen Generation." Watch the movie to figure out where the title comes from.

And now, for our feature presentation