Dean Hamer, Joe Wilson, and company presented this beautifully heart-warming film last night, Thursday, April 10th at the Hawaii Theatre, about a mahu (transgendered person) who is trying to find balance within herself as an identity, a wife, and a kumu (teacher). Before seeing this film, I could never relate with a mahu. I had no idea they were (and should still be) regarded as sacred by the Hawaiians and Polynesian people. I was aware that missionaries converted the Hawaiian people to Christianity, but it didn’t dawn on me that mahus were chastised and stripped of who they were, too. We as a society have strayed very far away from thinking mahus are sacred and an integral part of society. There are so many rude and condescending words about mahus that I hear thrown around daily…but why is this? It’s because we as a society reject everything that is not “normal” by our standards and because we would rather pass judgement on others before ever getting to know them by their names and hobbies. I have so much love for Hina, Ho’oanani and the many others that are in the “middle.” They have the amazing gift of being able to relate to people of both genders. I wish for this movie to bring about change and hope; change for mahus to become respected and considered as a person, and hope for those that are questioning who they are because they doubt their inner strength. I love Hina’s advice. She’s very well-spoken and Hina says the true meaning of Aloha is unconditional love and respect. I agree, without love and respect there is no Hawaii. She also calls for transparency within herself which makes me reflect on my own transparency. I want to have the same comfort and security Hina mentions. I realize that you may not agree with Hina’s lifestyle, but realize that everyone has his or her own personal struggles and we cannot be judgmental. Every person is a person no matter what color, size, shape, or gender. I hope Hina realizes that the people she has touched will always have unconditional love and compassion for her.
As far as graphics/animation and shooting styles go I really loved the petroglyphic graphics; the earth tones really set the stage for authentic Hawaiian cave writing. Some shooting was pretty grainy during dark scenes so the quality didn’t look as sharp as a majority of the film, and cameras were set on auto-focus which was a bit distracting. Other than that I believe the film flowed really well and I enjoyed viewing it. Thank you HIFF and pete Britos for hooking me up with a ticket to watch this show. I’d love to watch Kumu Hina again, and I hope it spreads nation wide and beyond!
Watch this trailer: you’ll get chicken skin (goose bumps)