Directed by Dean Hamer & Joe Wilson
In KUMU HINA, hula teacher Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu prepares her male students for a year-end dance performance while advocating for Native Hawaiian rights. Kalu’s identity as mahu (transgender) allows her to possess both the feminine and the masculine, leaving her with unique healing and teaching powers. The same spiritual entities are found in the lone tomboy of the group, Ho‘onani, who possesses a confidence and self-awareness well beyond her years.
Although an unbreakable force in the classroom and community, Kalu is constantly tested by her younger, domineering husband, whom she recently brought over from Fiji. Despite the overwhelming pressure to balance personal and public life, Kalu’s dedication to being a cultural leader never wavers.
Emmy Award-winning filmmakers Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson continue their series of films featuring complex scientific and social issues with KUMU HINA, their second full-length documentary following 2009’s OUT IN THE SILENCE. On a subject rarely spoken of in Hawaii, their documentary pushes the struggles of being “in the middle” to the surface.
— Elisa Gyotoku
Expected Guest in Attendance:
Connie Florez (Co-Producer): March 13 and March 15 screenings
Producer: Connie M. Flores
Editor: Nels Bangerter
Director: Dean Hamer, Joe Wilson