Directed by Dean Hamer, Joe Wilson
Can you imagine a world where a young boy can grow up to be the woman of his dreams and a young girl can rise to become a leader among men? Directed and produced by Emmy-winners Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson, KUMU HINA is told through the eyes of Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, a Native Hawaiian who is a proud mahu, or transgender woman, and an admired kumu, or teacher, cultural practitioner, and community leader. The inspiring documentary captures the struggle to maintain the Pacific Islander’s culture and values amidst the westernized society of modern day Hawaii and reveals a side of the Islands rarely noticed by foreign eyes.
The film screening will be followed by a Q & A with director Dean Hamer and Hina Wong-Kalu (via Skype).
Scientist turned filmmaker Dean Hamer became interested in journalism and filmmaking as a result of being a frequent guest on television news shows to discuss his research on AIDS, human sexuality and behavior genetics. Hamer has consulted for documentary and news productions by the BBC, Discovery Science and network news channels. He has also written three award-winning nonfiction books including The Science of Desire, which was a New York Times Book of the Year.
Joe Wilson got involved in documentary filmmaking through his social activism on human rights issues. Frustrated by the limitations of traditional organizing and advocacy and the constraints of his role as a program officer at a private foundation, he picked up a camera with hopes of reaching broader audiences with stories that would inform and compel people to act. Wilson’s first film Otros Amores, which examines other forms of love in Oaxaca Mexico, won the Videomaker Magazine National Documentary Challenge and started him on his way.
Henry lan Cusick / USA / 20 minsBen’s Hawaiian wife Maile dies and he grasps for ways to cope with the grief of his two Hawaiian sons, as well as the culture he lives in but has never fully embraced.
Precedes: KUMU HINA