Playlist: Hawaiian History: From the Perspective of Native Hawaiians by Jenna Makowski, Alexander Street Press
The films in this playlist are the voices of Native Hawaiians speaking out about who they are as a people with a unique cultural identity and what happened to them from the early days of American encounter and intervention to World War II and up to the present. The loss of culture and life, the overthrow of a sovereign Hawaiian nation, the occupation of Hawai`i by the United States of America, and the struggles of Native Hawaiians to survive in their homeland are issues that these films explore with aloha and passion.
Duration / Pages
Act of War: The Overthrow of the Hawaiian Nation
directed by Puhipau, 1937-2016 and Joan Lander, fl. 1957; produced by Puhipau, 1937-2016 and Joan Lander, fl. 1957, Nā Maka o ka ‘Āina (Video production) (Hawaii: Nā Maka o ka ‘Āina (Video production), 1993), 58 mins
This hour-long documentary is a provocative look at a historical event of which few Americans are aware. In mid-January, 1893, armed troops from the U.S.S. Boston landed at Honolulu in support of a treasonous coup d'etat against the constitutional sovereign of the Hawaiian Kingdom, Queen Lili'uokalani. The event was described by U.S. President Grover Cleveland as "an act of war." Stylized re-enactments, archival photos and film, political cartoons, historic quotes, and presentations by Hawaiian scholars tell Hawaiian history through Hawaiian eyes.
30 Sep 2014
Hawaiian Voices: Bridging Past To Present
directed by Eddie Kamae, 1927-; produced by Rodney A. Ohtani, fl. 1998 and Myrna Kamae, fl. 1970 (Honolulu, HI: Hawaiian Legacy Foundation, 1998), 59 mins
This award-winning 1 hr documentary honors the role of kupuna (elders) in preserving Hawaiian culture. It focuses on the legacies of 3 respected Hawaiian elders whose lives bridged the transition from older times into the late 20th century. They are Ruth Makaila Kaholoa‘a; Lilia Wahinemaika‘i Hale; & Reverend David “Kawika” Ka‘alakea. Each is a living archive whose memories & perspectives need to be shared as a way of bringing the healing wisdom of the past into the often fragmented world of the present.
30 Sep 2014
Keepers of the Flame: The Legacy of Three Hawaiian Women
directed by Eddie Kamae, 1927-; produced by Dennis Mahaffay, fl. 1988 and Myrna Kamae, fl. 1970 (Honolulu, HI: Hawaiian Legacy Foundation, 2005), 57 mins
This is the story of three extraordinary Hawaiian women who helped revive Hawaiian culture when it was perilously close to being lost. It was a time when the monarchy had been overthrown, the Hawaiian language banned from public places and schools, and the Hawaiian heartbeat of hula forced underground. Mary Kawena Pukui, ‘lolani Luahine and Edith Kanaka’ole combined commitment to Hawaiian history with art and aloha, to reignite the flame of tradition. Each planted seeds of the Hawaiian cultural renaissance. Kawena as a history and language expert, teacher and author, ‘lolani as a chanter, cultural icon and ‘high priestess of hula’ and Edith as a songwriter, teacher and founder of the traditional school of hula, Halau O Kekuhi. The lives of these three great women are described through heartfelt interviews with people who knew and were influenced by them, along with wonderful archival footage collected throughout the years.
30 Sep 2014
Mauna Kea: Temple Under Siege
directed by Joan Lander, fl. 1957 and Puhipau, 1937-2016; produced by Nā Maka o ka ‘Āina (Video production) (Hawaii: Nā Maka o ka ‘Āina (Video production), 2005), 50 mins
Although the mountain volcano Mauna Kea last erupted around 4000 years ago, it is still hot today, the center of a burning controversy over whether its summit should be used for astronomical observatories or preserved as a cultural landscape sacred to the Hawaiian people. For five years Na Maka o ka `Aina captured on video the seasonal moods of Mauna Kea’s unique 14,000-foot summit environment, the richly varied ecosystems that extend from sea level to alpine zone, the legends and stories that reveal the mountain’s geologic and cultural history, and the political turbulence surrounding the efforts to protect the most significant temple in the islands, the mountain itself. Mauna Kea – Temple Under Siege paints a portrait of a mountain that has become a symbol of the Hawaiian struggle for physical, cultural and political survival.
30 Sep 2014
Then There Were None
directed by Elizabeth Lindsey, 1956-; produced by Rob Robinson, fl. 1996 and Martha Noyes, fl. 1996 (Honolulu, HI: Pacific Islanders in Communications, 1996), 26 mins
More than half a million native Hawaiians were living in the islands at the time of European contact in 1778. Within 50 years, that population was cut in half as Western diseases claimed thousands of lives. A litany of events followed: American missionaries preached unfamiliar ideas and customs; sugarcane and pineapple plantations absorbed individual farmlands; waves of immigrant workers arrived, making Hawaiians a minority in their own land; and WWII brought a lasting military presence. University of Hawai'i sociologists estimate that the extinction of full-blooded Hawaiians could come within the next 45 years. To millions of travelers the world over, Hawai'i is an alluring picture postcard paradise. But to its Native Hawaiian people, nothing could be further from the truth. Their compelling story, of a race displaced and now on the verge of extinction, is brilliantly told in this award-winning documentary created by the great-granddaughter of Hawaiian high chiefs and English seafarers.
30 Sep 2014
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