November 15, 2015 was the premiere of “Dear Thalia” at the Hawaii International Film Festival. This film was on the top of my list considering the fact that homelessness in Hawaii is a growing epidemic. This film was about the Martin family; Tracy, Tabatha and their 3-year-old daughter Thalia. The Martin Family is located in Kaka’ako where most homeless people reside creating a community. This video explains the current situation that the Martin’s and other homeless people/homeless families are dealing with today. From “sweeps” to make-shift bedrooms these homeless have a tough lifestyle dealing with the government and the fear of losing their tent everyday.
With the Martin family they have an understandable reason why they are homeless, it does not have to do with drugs or being “lazy” as what people who are not homeless would consider the reason. But the price of living in Hawaii is very high and since Tracy isn’t able to work, Tabatha has to settle as a parking attendant to bring home money for the family. I appreciate this because everyone who is not homeless has something so harsh to say about homeless or give them a disgusting look. The Martin family did not ask for this, the economy has just taken a toll on them.
The footage was taken from the Martins or from the director Rex Moribe and his film crew. Moribe gave the Martin family a GoPro to film their experience of being homeless. Seeing how the Martins live their lives in a tent is amazing because they make the most of what the got. As Tracy said in the film, people who past all these tents never bother to give these homeless the time or day let alone look at them. But seeing the experience of living in a tent is very moving because it is such a hard lifestyle to live in with no running water or electricity.
What I appreciate about this movie is how Thalia had so much different emotions throughout, being a 3-year-old and having all of this attention from different camera men can be so entertaining. But the scene where it was raining and Thalia started to sweep up the leaves, you could tell she was influenced by her father. Tracy takes care of his surroundings by cleaning the sidewalks free of leaves or cleaning the showers at the beach. Thalia sweeping the leaves really shows that she cares about where she lives because this is how she is growing up.
What I also love about this film is that Tracy and Tabatha advocated for the homeless at press conferences. They listened to what the politicians had to say and explained what I think needs to be done to help the homeless. This really shows empowerment they have to make a change in the homeless community.
The only con side to this film was the editing of it, the content was all there but it was a bit choppy at some points and hard to follow. When the screen would turn black and had a statement or word that correlates with the next screen, it would just cut to the chase. It was to the point that it came to a surprise that, that happened. Also the storyline is in a loop because a few scenes were repeated which was understandable according to the context, but the scene with the Sand Island story sort of jumped around making it hard to understand.
This is a must-see film if you are a local of the Hawaii State, it is a problem that so much people are aware of but never seem to know how to help. This film has influenced me to not give such a strong judgement on homeless and help them as much as possible because this situation can happen to anyone.