New Documentary! Hawaiian Values Differ From Western Traditions...
IN A WORLD THAT PUNISHES GENDER NONCONFORMITY, IMAGINE A PLACE WHERE A LITTLE BOY CAN GROW UP TO BE THE WOMAN OF HIS DREAMS, AND A LITTLE GIRL CAN RISE TO BECOME A LEADER OF YOUNG MEN. WELCOME TO KUMU HINA'S HAWAI'I. A new documentary by Emmy Award-winning directors Dean Hamer & Joe Wilson produced in association with Pacific Islanders in Communications and ITVS.
Words From the Directors...
Just two years ago, we began the making of KUMU HINA, a film about Hina Wong-Kalu, an extraordinary Native Hawaiian teacher, or kumu, and cultural leader who happens to be mahu, the Hawaiian term for those who embrace both masculine and feminine traits.
The experience was magical, capturing the ups and downs of Hinaʻs first-year of marriage to an unpredictable Tongan man and her inspiring mentorship of a young girl whose dream was to lead their schoolʻs all-male hula troupe.
The result is a provocative and inspiring glimpse of a Hawai'i rarely seen by outsiders, and a land in which there is unconditional acceptance and respect for all -- what Kumu Hina calls "the true meaning of aloha."
As the filmʻs 2014 world premiere approaches (to be announced soon), weʻre also getting ready to launch a dynamic engagement campaign to share Kumu Hinaʻs message with the world!
A hint of just how powerful this experience will be occurred over the past few weeks amidst Hawai'i's contentious debate over marriage equality.
As opponents and supporters fought tooth and nail, Kumu Hina published an Op-Ed in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that profoundly changed the discourse. Rather than make arguments from a Western mindset, she offered an historical perspective on gender and sexuality in Hawai'i that opened the door to what State Senator Gil Kahele called in an extraordinary speech on the Senate floor, "a full and honest renaissance of pre-Christian Hawai'iʻs history."
As the legislative battle continued, Kumu Hina became a prominent symbol of hope, and helped position Hawaiian culture as the guiding force for progress and unity in the islands. Upon passage of the Marriage Equality Act, Gov. Neil Abercrombie invited her to deliver the opening chant at the Signing Ceremony, where there was not a dry eye in the house.
A few highlights from these events are included here, a sign of whatʻs to come with the KUMU HINA film and campaign in the year ahead. We hope youʻll join us on the journey.
Joe Wilson & Dean Hamer, KUMU HINA Producers/Directors
Qwaves Films | P.O. Box 688 | Haleiwa, HI 96712