32. Whale Rider
There are a lot of great things about “Whale Rider,” but the thing I admire the most about it is how it manages to straddle realism and mysticism seamlessly, effortlessly. This is both the story of a 12 year old girl, her troubled grandfather and how traditions must change with time, and a budding myth about a great tribal leader that will be told form generation to generation for a thousand years. These days we have a hard time understanding how myths could be based in fact, or how real stories could eventually become mythical; “Whale Rider” demonstrates, and in the process reminds us that there’s more than one way to tell a story.