I've shown this movie to one or more of my classes probably a dozen times and it's still enjoyable.
The story is set among a group of Maori in present-day New Zealand. The two main characters are the chief of this group ("Paka") and his troublesome 13-year old granddaughter ("Pai"). The grandfather loves Pai as a granddaughter but also blames her for "the troubles," which he believes started the night she was born. (Her brother, who should have become the heir, died at birth, as did the mother; the father, Paka's eldest son, was so distraught that he fled New Zealand and established himself as an up-and-coming artist in Europe -- abandoning his people, in Paka's view.)
From the beginning, Pai shows unusual talents and interest in "the old ways," but Paka cannot see it because of his obsession with a male heir. At one point he gives up on his family and starts a school to find the potential heir among the first-born sons of the tribe -- with rather unpredictable results. If Amazon had a 6 star rating, I'd give this movie 6.
The casting of this movie is brilliant. The conflict between Paka and Pai sizzles and the supporting characters (notably Paka's wife and Paka's two sons, the father and the uncle) are brilliant. Even the walk-on characters, like the other tribe members and the boys who attend the school are great.
The scenery is fabulous and the story unfolds in a beautiful way. The movie is enjoyable on so many levels -- as good entertainment, as an inspiring story, as an interesting perspective on a different culture, or as a story on the generational conflict, families, and love.