american aloha - hula beyond hawai'i
Evann Siebens, Lisette Marie Flanary, USA, 2003
For Hawaiians, the hula is not just a dance but a way of life. Yet while most people only know the stereotypes of ‘grass skirt girls’ from old Hollywood movies and tourist kitsch, the revival of the ancient art of hula tells of the rich history and spirituality of Hawai’i. AMERICAN ALOHA discovers a renaissance of Hawaiian culture through music, language and dance as it continues to grow in California. Following three master hula teachers, the film celebrates the perpetuation of a culture – from the very traditional to the contemporary – as it evolves on distant shores. With more native Hawaiians living on the US Mainland than on the islands, the hula is a living tradition that connects generations far from home to their heritage. Revealing the challenges of cultural survival through the struggles of Hawai’i’s past, AMERICAN ALOHA is a proud reminder of the power of reclaiming tradition for communities creating a home away from home.