‘Sons of Halawa’ Documentary Premieres at HIFF
Maui Now’s Malika Dudley sat with Greg Solatorio in Halawa Valley on the island of Moloka‘i to get a glimpse of what movie-goers can expect from the Sons of Halawa documentary, which premieres in a few days.
Fifty generations of their ‘ohana have lived in Halawa Valley.
KAUNAKAKAI, HI – On Monday, Nov. 16 (8:15 p.m., Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18, Honolulu) Sons of Halawa, a locally produced feature length documentary, will have its World Premiere at the Hawai‘i International Film Festival (HIFF). It is showing as part of the festival’s “Pacific Showcase” collection sponsored by Pacific Islanders in Communication (PIC). Additional showings will be held on Moloka‘i, Kāua‘i, Maui and the Big Island of Hawai‘i with anticipated future screenings at other film festivals across the US.
The story takes place in Moloka‘i’s Halawa Valley, one of the oldest inhabited locations in Hawai‘i. ‘Anakala (Uncle) Pilipo Solatorio is the last to hold the cultural traditions, music, and stories of the sacred Hawaiian valley that has been home to his family for hundreds of years.
At the age of 5, Pilipo was selected by his adopted grandfather to become the cultural practitioner for his family and was given the responsibility of perpetuating the traditions of Halawa Valley. But growing up in the isolated community was not easy and Pilipo, like everyone else of his generation, left Halawa, vowing never to return.
When Pilipo gets married and starts a family, the valley and the teachings of his grandfather call him home to fulfill his destiny. Will Pilipo’s son, Greg, come home to take on the responsibility of carrying traditions forward, or will Pilipo’s two hanai (adopted) sons (Josh, a taro farmer, and Jason, a musician from New York) be left with the challenge?
Great sacrifices need to be made, but if Pilipo does not succeed in finding a successor, generations of knowledge will be lost forever.