Maui Film Festival
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2014 Archive

Kumu Hina
Kumu Hina
Feature Film Documentary
(2013, 75 mins, BLU-RAY - NTSC - R0, BLU-RAY - NTSC)
In English, Hawaiian, Tonga with English subtitles
World Premiere

Previously known for Out in the Silence, a powerful film about the quest for inclusion of LGBT folks in rural America, Emmy Award-winning directors Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson now illuminate the joys and struggles of an extraordinary transgender native-Hawaiian teacher who embodies the ancient tradition called "mahu."

A respected and beloved kumu and cultural scholar at the Halau Lokahi charter school, also the chair of the O‘ahu Island Burial Council, Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu opened her unique world to the filmmakers.

Motivated by a desire to pass on Hawaiian tradition to younger generations, for Hina, living aloha encompasses unconditional acceptance and respect. Empowering her students to be who they are, this inspirational documentary also focuses on 6th grader Hoonani, born a girl, who identifies herself as a person “in the middle,” and wishes to dance with the school’s male hula troupe.

The film also delves into Hina’s pursuit of a dream for a fulfilling romantic relationship. Her marriage to a young Tongan man, and the challenges they encounter, offer a glimpse of a Hawai‘i never seen before, and hopeful insights about the universal quest for love and acceptance.
“Everyone is a part of the larger whole, and the Hawaiian way of life requires acceptance and aloha for all,” says Hina.

- JW

This film is not rated.

Screening Schedule
Thu, Jun 5th 6:00pm
Castle Theater - Maui Arts
& Cultural Center

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