I saw the movie and loved it, but it was a little on the slow side...it has that in common with the other N.Z. movie, The Piano. However, both movies were equally moving. Whale Rider has cool symbolism and is a movie that can spark neat conversations among those of us who are connected to something very, very old (Giglio).
One short disclaimer: I am biased from my trip to N.Z. and my eternal desire to visit once again, and by visit, I mean 10 years. Hence my continued hope that this earth is so very similar to the new earth - that this earth is the material used for the next.