As a Polynesian of Hawai'i, I am of course very supportive of Polynesian actors, actresses, and directors gaining exposure and fame in the international arena of theater and movies.
It is way overdue for the people of our region to be recognized for our deeper sense of beauty, which lies more in the depth of our eyes than the swaying of our hips.
As this film portrays, we have traditional cultural values and customs in our heritage which lie at the core of our beauty, which has managed to survive in some of us, and yet not others.
After nearly two centuries of colonization and absorption by foreign cultures, it is amazing that the spirit in our eyes and in the land still shines!
To produce this film was no small task due to logistics and funding, but it also was very brave to take the risk of being possibly scorned by the director's ancestral villagers.
In real life as well as seen in this film, the bitterness in the eyes of those who scorn "the old ways" of religion; are also likely to scorn "the new ways" of taking risks and initiatives.
I salute this film for bringing our focus to this unspoken struggle and the beauty of the main character who symbolizes a crucial cultural and spiritual link to the past and to the future, except I want MORE. I want more of the director's talent; and more of the main character's spiritual strength; and more exposure to the depth of our culture.
Are there investors interested in films that show natives thriving beyond surviving?
Imagine if she would go on to a university in New Zealand and become a professor of environmental law, who teaches the values of traditional knowledge and provides the means for livelihoods on Rotuma based on traditional cultural practices of caring for the land?
What if she were to also develop artistic talents and sculpt a large statue of "Warrior Mother" and place it in the middle of the village (by the Christian church ) and dedicate it with proper traditional spiritual ceremonies and have all the villagers join in chanting without fear of hell and damnation...now wouldn't that move us all onto another level of greatness?
What an absolute treat to have the magic and beauty of such excellent artistic creativity on film, rather than on stage, and to be on HBO or on a DVD in my home is fabulous!!! The genius behind the artistic expression was captured very well, and the absolute oneness of breath required, not only to dance in unison, but to grab the breath of the audience into each movement was spectacular! The development of characters, movements, and sets with special effects added to the overall appeal of this production. The story line was of no particular consequence, except to show the challenging dynamics in the every day lives of committed artists. The physical stamina and emotional strength required was captured very nicely as a side line, but influential. I also appreciate the historical documentation value of this film, by leaving a "footprint on film" as a sample of the artistry we so much appreciate in this threshold into the 21st century, which is normally limited to live performances "On Stage"..... Bravo! Bravo!