On November 17, 2015 I was excited to finally have time to watch the film, “Dear Thalia” which I was greatly interested in ever since I got the Hawai’i International Film Festival’s film schedule. Since residents in Hawai’i, as well as visitors know that homelessness is a vast issue in our state, especially on the island of O’ahu. Since we are blessed to have a house, a car, and other materialistic possessions, we often tend to think selfishly and don’t stop and think about the life of the homeless. “Dear Thalia” gives us the inside look of a family of three; the Martin family which consists of Tracy Martin, Tabatha Martin, and Thalia whom is their three year old daughter. The video shows their struggle living day to day in a tent in Kaka’ako.
This film shows a tour of their tent which is sectioned off into three portions: kitchen, bedroom, and a bathroom. In their kitchen, the Martin family stores canned goods and ramen packages in a cooler, and their meats and perishables in another cooler with ice. Tracy Martin noted that food poisoning is something that does occur, and it surely isn’t pleasant to experience. They have a grill, and a portable gas stove, as well as different types of spices for favorable food. In their restroom, they do their business in plastic bags, of which they tie and put it with the rest of the trash. Watching this portion of the film, it made me realize even more on how lucky I am to have a roof over my head, a refrigerator, and a bed with pillows and blankets.
The parts of this film that affected me the most was the “sweeps” that the city and county did throughout Kaka’ako at random times. Police officers accompany city and county garbage workers while they break down everyone’s tent and throwing the homeless’ items in the garbage truck. This affected me the most because the homeless, at times could only save a few items from their tents, everything else was thrown away; food, toys, blankets, and more. It was heartbreaking knowing that all of the trouble they went through and time they spent to accumulate all of their belongings were gone so fast.
I greatly enjoyed this film, it was very eye opening to me as well as it brought some tears to my eyes. Mahalo to Rex Moribe, the director of “Dear Thalia” for sharing this point of view with me!