Sorry for the late update here on the East Coast Smithsonian Screenings. Both of the screenings were really fantastic for two main reasons. Number one to have my first museum screenings at two different Smithsonian museums is an amazing privilege. Secondly, it is inspiring to see the work of other Pacific Islander Filmmakers and learn about other indigenous cultures from all around the world.
First a short update on New York. Shortly I will get up an entry about DC, because the DC screening and trip was really amazing and deserves its own post!!!
The team from the Film and Video Center in New York were lovely. I was happy to be able to attend the artist reception on Wednesday before the Pasifika Showcase began. I had a chance to speak with Nancy Brunning who is in a wonderful Maori film called The Strength of Water. You can see the trailer here. Unfortunately, to be honest, the trailer doesn’t do the film justice.
The Strength of Water is paced like a comforting drift of a lazy river. However, this underlying ease is upset by the trauma of the sudden accidental death of a young Maori girl named Melody. The entire village mourns her loss bitterly, but none more so than her twin brother Kimi. The film explores grief through magical realism brought to life through the love and loss of a young child.
Haku Inoa screened on a Saturday afternoon with a collection of other short films. A few hula sisters from New York and film school friends came by, and the Q&A after the films was fairly lively. There were maybe 50 or so folks at the screening, but that is not too surprising since it was a sunny Saturday afternoon in New York.