Monday, May 17, 2010
Comment on Princess Ka`iulani
Comments get lost here if they are attached to an article that’s even a few days old. Here is one attached to Henry Curtis’ article Princess Ka`iulani (5/15/2010). There are several others—click on the link to see them.
Mahalo to all the strong voices speaking the truth about this problematic film. It is sad, in a way, that the sincere and lovely Ms. Kilcher appears to be a victim herself of the continued haolewood manipulation of the histories of indigenous peoples...bringing to this attempt to evoke Ka'iulani's life the baggage of having portrayed another mythical white version of a native life. (As one Native American elder has said, "Since when are the indigenous interchangeable?" Perhaps this wouldn't be as painful an issue if the creator of this film hadn't PROMISED the community he would cast a part-Kanaka Maoli actor.)
It is time for the Kanaka Maoli/Kanaka Maoli supporter film/documentarist/writing community to make a PONO documentary free from oversexualized, pseudo-Hawaiian silliness and fact-morphing: a film that "stars" Ka'iulani as herself...in her own photos, her own letters, in the accounts of the Hawaiian language press and other accurate period records. (For instance, how much more interesting and inspiring would be the story of how Ka'iulani taught herself to ride the bicycle - an activity frowned on for women at that time - on the rough roads of Jersey Island, instead of that drippy "romantic" bicycle ride with the Davies character the film includes!) Ka'iulani was a "strong-brained woman", and doesn't need to be represented as the plaything of any man - the details of her own life achievements (short as that life was) are far more diverse...her disciplined efforts to become an excellent artist, her dedication to music (how about the time she played the guitar to cheer the boys at a reform school? Or was inspired to try the violin by famed violinist Ede Remenyi?) What about her dedication to Hawaiian watersports - her excellence in surfing, swimming and pulling wa'a? More importantly, there is the subtle and nobly subversive Ka'iulani who with her Aunt planned that last dinner in order that the Hawaiian Patriotic Societies could present THE PETITIONS to those annexation commissioners? (Aue - that "vote" thing - the film is a mess of awkwardly compressed and misinterpreted events.) Let's all get moving, folks, to make something worthy of Ke Ali'i Ka'iulani.
Very good comments about this film and thank you Larry for yours.
It is to be expected that the morally bankrupt and sensationalist makers of this ʻʻʻfilmʻʻʻ would throw Kaiulaniʻs story into the Hollywood muck because this company is a B rated porno film company.
The state should have denied the privilege to film her story based on that alone; furthermore, those people NEVER should have been allowed to traipse through the Palace like they did. At many points during filming, they werenʻt even wearing sock booties when they climbed back and forth into the top floor window.
Shame on the Palace curators for being such suckers. I believe they got had.
A film company like this could have been hired to scoop antiques for the Bush and Cheney crooks. After all the furniture was allegedly replaced with replicas for the filming. Do the docents know the difference between the real stuff and the replicas or were they too bedazzled by what was going on? If things were taken chances are we wouldnʻt be told and the ʻfriendsʻ sure as hell would look like the big fools and crooks they are.