Panel Discussion Following Iolani Palace: Restoration & Hawaii’s Past Today


On Saturday I watched a remastered documentary titled Iolani Palace: Restoration and Hawaii’s Past Today. Both films, directed by George Tahara, are from archived film reels dating back to the 60s and 70s, from before and after the palace restoration.

The film documents how the design and architecture for the restored Iolani Palace took place. It shows an impressive team of historians, artists, carpenters and UH students who use their talents to create the palace as we know it today. It marks a revival in the Native Hawaiian culture, backed by the efforts of many dedicated people.

The detail put in to the work at Iolani Palace, and the careful attention paid to trying to preserve as much of the original materials intrigued me the most about this documentary. I left with an appreciation for Iolani Palace that could only be achieved through viewing this film.

Following the documentary was a panel discussion about the technical aspects used in remastering this film. One of the panel members, Mike May, was actually present during the time that film was shot and gave insight on what took place.

Below is a short video I filmed and put together of the discussion featuring:

  • Heather Giugni, Producer / Cultural Collections Specialist, ʻUluʻulu
  • Mike May, Producer/Director/Photographer, Mike May Media
  • Heather Diamond, Curator, Iolani Palace
  • Janel Quirante, Head Archivist, ʻUluʻulu

I would recommend everyone to watch this documentary, especially history and culture enthusiasts. I second the opinion made during the discussion that this documentary should be made available to the public, or at least at Iolani Palace during the tour. It would create more respect for the palace.

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