Directed by Tadashi Nakamura
Mele Murals is a documentary about the transformative power of art through the unlikely union of graffiti and ancient Hawaiian culture. At the center of this story are the artists Estria Miyashiro (aka Estria) and John Hina (aka Prime), and a group of Native Hawaiian youth from the rural community of Waimea, HI. Together they create a mural that addresses the ill effects of environmental changes and encroaching modernization on their native culture. Mele Murals shows how public art combined with Native Hawaiian traditions transforms the students, the local community and, unexpectedly, the two artists as they rediscover their own identities and responsibilities as Hawaiian artists.
Tadashi Nakamura was named one of CNN’s Young People Who Rock for being the youngest filmmaker at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. His recent film Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings (NEA funded) was broadcast nationally on PBS in 2013 and went on to win the 2013 Gotham Independent Film Audience Award. Nakamura’s trilogy of films on the Japanese American experience, Yellow Brotherhood (2003), Pilgrimage (2007) and A Song for Ourselves(2009) have garnered over 20 awards at film festivals.