I got my tickets to the closing event, the world premier of Moananuiākea: One Ocean. One People. One Canoe., at the Hawaii Theater Center early. It’s a good thing I did because it ended up being a sold out show. The room was packed with different VIP’s and many with ties to Hokulea and the Polynesian Voyage Society.
Hokulea is a Hawaiian double hulled sailing canoe that went on a three year circumnavigation of the world called Malama Honua that was organized by its parent organization, Polynesian Voyage Society(PVS).
Before the showing some of the members of PVS and other Hawaiians participated in a traditional prayer followed by some words from the HIFF staff and the directorial team.
The documentary was a daunting two and a half hours long. However, the content was deep and compelling from start to finish and never really felt drawn out. The film successfully captured the audience and made strong emotional connection apparent by the wet eyes across the audience.
The documentary successfully builds the feeling of relationship with the audience. That connection keeps your attention fixed and draws you into their stories.
The film is well timed, in a world that is more aware of climate change and the negative impacts human-kind is having on the oceans, it makes a powerful statement about how we can all make sure change happens. From small impoverished villages to New York City, Hokulea seems to make a connection with the people of every community they encounter with people coming out in droves to meet the voyagers.
This year’s Made in Hawaii Feature closing night film was a must see for anyone with an interest in Polynesian voyaging history or an interest in environmental movements.