Murky skies greeted me this Honolulu dawn as I prepared to return to nani Kauai, more appreciative than ever of the little gem that I call home. Had a couple of conversations with Koko while I was away; she didn’t speak, but the friend who is watching her said her tail wagged madly when she heard my voice on the phone.
I’m still hearing some of the compelling words that were uttered on ”Noho Hewa,” the powerful film by Anne Keala Kelly that I watched at the Dole Cannery theatre as part of the Hawaii Film Festival yesterday afternoon. They were words that often brought tears to my eyes, words that opened my heart and mind.
I’d very much wanted to see it, then as so often happens when things are meant to be, Ikaika Hussey, the publisher of The Hawaii Independent, who I planned to meet with, anyway, said he was going, so I got to tag along.
If you don’t know much about what’s really going in Hawaii, then this is a movie you need to see to wise up and advance your education. If you do know, it’s worthwhile viewing to be reminded of why this struggle is so important.
Kelly, a journalist and filmmaker, touches upon all the issues currently impacting Native Hawaiians: burial desecration, the influx of high-end development, homelessness, environmental degradation, tourism, the Akaka bill, the ignorance and insensitivity of so many who come here and most of all, the intense military presence in the Islands.
I’ve always known that Hawaii is the most heavily militarized state, but this film put that presence in the context of the oppressive foreign occupation that it really is and does an excellent job of portraying what it’s like to live as a colonized people in your own homeland.
If you’re in Honolulu, you can see it for free at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, and I strongly urge that you do.
As Kelly said: “It’s important to see it on a big screen because these issues are always made small. They’re trying to make us invisible.”
What's really remarkable is that America hasn't succeeded.