tolerance

INSIGHTS ON PBS HAWAIʻI
The Haʻikū Stairs

 

Whatʻs the next step for the Stairs? The future of The Haʻikū Stairs has been fiercely debated for years. Also known as the Thousand Steps or the Stairway to Heaven, the long, narrow step structures make for a stunningly beautiful hike, high up a Windward Oʻahu ridge, providing panoramic views often posted on social media. The hike is both popular and illegal. Residents in a nearby Kāneʻohe neighborhood have endured the trespassers and their noise for many years. The current owner of most of the land under the deteriorating stairs, the Honolulu Board of Water Supply, wants to free itself of the liability and tear down the stairs – or transfer responsibility. Join the conversation on INSIGHTS ON PBS HAWAIʻI. You can phone in, or leave us a comment on Facebook or Twitter.

 

Phone Lines:
462-5000 on Oahu or 800-238-4847 on the Neighbor Islands.

 

Email:
insights@pbshawaii.org

 

Facebook:
Visit the PBS Hawai‘i Facebook page.

 

Twitter:
Join our live discussion using #pbsinsights

 

 

 


PACIFIC HEARTBEAT
Leitis in Waiting | Cover Story

Pacific Heartbeat's Leitis in Waiting. The May Program Guide cover story by Emily Bodfish

May 2019 program guide cover story by Emily Bodfish, PBS Hawai‘i

 

Now in its eighth season, the anthology series PACIFIC HEARTBEAT brings the authentic Pacific – people, cultures, languages, music and contemporary issues – to your screen. This new season brings stories of determination and courage from Australia, Rapa Nui (Easter Island), Tonga and the U.S. The series is a production of Pacific Islanders in Communications in partnership with PBS Hawaiʻi, and is distributed nationally by American Public Television.

 

Among the films premiering this month is Leitis in Waiting, which tells the story of the Kingdom of Tonga’s evolving approach to gender fluidity through character-driven portraits of leitis, or indigenous transgender women. The most prominent leiti, Joey Joleen Mataele, is a practicing Catholic of noble descent who, over the course of an eventful year, organizes a beauty pageant, and later a conference with fundamentalist Christians to discuss the rise of the rhetoric of intolerance toward leitis.

 

Filmmakers Joe Wilson, Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu and Dean HamerFilmmakers Dean Hamer, Joe Wilson and Hinaleimoana Wong-Kale – the subject of Hamer and Wilson’s earlier film Kumu Hina, which was also a film about gender fluidity that aired nationally on PBS – spoke with us about the film:

 

Could you give us some insight into your intentions with the film, the meaning of it for you and your audience?

 

Hamer: At first, we thought we would create a short film about the [beauty] pageant itself, which Hina won one year, by the way. While pursuing that, we realized we needed to make a feature length film on the leitis search for equality and recognition in their own country.

 

Wilson: We wanted our film to have an effect everywhere, but especially in Tonga. Our approach to filmmaking is to show, not tell, and let the viewers decide for themselves. That approach lends itself to the Tongan talanoa method of conflict resolution. You sit down with your opposition and try to come to a mutual understanding. Joey, the protagonist of the film, is currently using the film in that way as part of her advocacy.

 

Hina, you were instrumental in making the film because of your insider knowledge of the culture. Could you give some insight into those cultural differences some viewers might not understand, including the concept of the “usefulness” of the leitis?

 

Wong-Kalu: In Tonga, the royal family is held in utmost regard. They are synonymous with the nation itself, the flag, and the national seal “God and Tonga are my inheritance.”

 

On “usefulness,” the understanding in Polynesian culture is that your worth is not measured by how much you acquire, but rather by how much you sacrifice of yourself. The Tongan understanding of the word “useful” as it applies to people is different from in the west. When you hear people in the film say that the leitis are “useful,” it is praise for their service to others.

 

Wilson: At the same time, the frustrations that we tried to capture on film is the leitis’ struggle with something that marginalized communities struggle with everywhere. Whenever leitis, or anyone that has been relegated to a certain place, says, “I deserve more,” a backlash occurs.

 

What do you think the U.S. and Tonga can learn from each other?

 

Wong-Kalu: I would like to beg the question – why does Tonga have to learn anything from the U.S.? Tongans had a great way of embracing everyone in society. I want Tonga to be more discerning about what they import.

 

Hamer: One thing the U.S. can learn is that gender diversity has been around for centuries, and widely accepted in many parts of the world. The vast majority hid because the forces against them were so strong, but they were still there. It isn’t going to kill society if those people don’t hide anymore.

 


Leitis in Waiting

Saturday, May 25 at 8:00 pm

Click here to see PACIFIC HEARTBEAT SEASON 8 programming lineup and schedule

 

 

 

Christmas at Concordia:
Gather Us In, O Child of Peace

PBS - Christmas at Concordia: Gather Us In, O Child of Peace,

 

In the music special “Christmas at Concordia: Gather Us In, O Child of Peace,” Concordia College re-imagines the Christmas message with music embracing peace and reconciliation. The concert marks the 125th anniversary of Concordia College, which was founded by Norwegian immigrants and is located in Moorhead, Minnesota. Under the artistic leadership of world renowned composer and conductor Rene Claussen, four hundred student musicians perform in front of an original mural measuring nearly 200 feet wide. The hour-long program explores through song the themes of virtue in the community, including tolerance, compassion, and unity. Music includes traditional favorites like “Silent Night” and “I Saw Three Ships” to an original composition by Rene Claussen. The Concordia College choirs and instrumental ensembles performing in the special include: The Concordia Choir, a 72-voice a cappella choir which has performed in nearly every major hall, including Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center; the Chapel Choir; Cantabile, which is comprised of sopranos and altos from first-year through senior year; Kantorei, Concordia’s mixed-voice choir comprised of first-year students; and The Concordia Orchestra, an integral part of the annual Concordia Christmas Concerts in December and the Masterworks Concert in the spring.

 

Preview

 

 

 

INSIGHTS ON PBS HAWAI‘I
Deadly Addictions

 

The President has declared the opioid epidemic a national emergency. Overdoses involving heroin and pharmaceutical opioids killed more people last year than guns or car accidents, and are doing so at a pace faster than the H.I.V. epidemic at its peak. Has this widespread use of opioids and heroin taken hold in our Islands? Fifteen years ago we were the crystal meth capital of the country. Have we made any progress in shedding that dubious distinction?

 

Your questions and comments are welcome via phone, email and online via Facebook and Twitter during the Live Broadcast.

 

Phone Lines:
462-5000 on Oahu or 800-238-4847 on the Neighbor Islands.

 

Email:
insights@pbshawaii.org

 

Facebook:
Visit the PBS Hawai‘i Facebook page.

 

Twitter:
Join our live discussion using #pbsinsights

 

HIKI NŌ
Episode #819

 

TOP STORY:

 

Students from Kapolei High School on O‘ahu present a story on the Hawai‘i-themed artwork engraved on the columns of O‘ahu’s rail project. The column art was designed by local architect Daniel Kanekuni and, according to HART spokesperson Bill Brennan, adds a sense of place and local identity to the rail project. Rail proponents and opponents alike feel that the column artwork is a good thing. However, some rail opponents, such as UH Professor of Civil Engineering Panos Prevedouros, feel that the real eye-sore will be the elevated rail stations. Says Prevedouros, “How much lipstick do they think they can put on that pig?”

 

ALSO FEATURED:

 

–Students from Maui Waena Intermediate School show how a Kahului family’s mochi- pounding tradition continues, despite the recent loss of the family matriarch who had been the heart of the event.

 

–Students from Hawai‘i Technology Academy in Leeward O‘ahu show us the proper way to pack a military care package.

 

–Students from Konawaena High School on Hawai‘i Island profile a Konawaena graduate who went on to form the internationally renowned heavy metal reggae band Pepper.

 

–Students from Moanalua High School on O‘ahu profile a lesbian couple at their school who work to spread the joy of diversity and the message of tolerance for those who are different.

 

–Students from Maui High School profile a star athlete who had to sit out the football season because of a heart condition but continued to inspire his teammates by volunteering as an assistant coach.

 

This program encores Saturday, May 27, at 12:00 pm and Sunday, May 28, at 3:00 pm. You can also view HIKI NŌ episodes on our website, www.pbshawaii.org/hikino.

 


PBS HAWAI‘I PRESENTS
The Land of Eb

 

This fictional story is set in the stark volcanic landscape of one of the most remote communities on Hawai‘i Island – Hawaiian Ocean View Estates. Jonithen Jackson portrays Jacob, a Marshallese immigrant father and grandfather, who struggles to provide for his large family. When Jacob overhears a cancer diagnosis from his doctor he keeps the news to himself, forgoing treatment in favor of working to pay off his property which he plans to pass down once he’s gone. Sensing his end, Jacob turns a small video camera on himself and begins to record his story – and that of his people, the Marshallese. The film is a contemplative look at a community in Hawaii still struggling to recover from the effects of the nuclear age. It is a profoundly realistic portrayal of one man’s unwillingness to let go of his dignity and the hope he has for his family’s future.

 

INSIGHTS ON PBS HAWAI‘I
Life as a Muslim in Hawai‘i

 

What is life in Hawai‘i like for nearly 5,000 Muslims? They come from 42 different
countries and are of different races and cultures. Some of these Muslim faithful
are American-born citizens. This discussion explores the advantages and challenges
of life in Hawai‘i as they practice their faith.

 

Your questions and comments are welcome via phone, email and via Twitter during the Live Broadcast.

 

Phone Lines:
973-1000 on Oahu or 800-238-4847 on the Neighbor Islands.

 

Email:
insights@pbshawaii.org

 

Twitter:
Join our live discussion using #pbsinsights

 

POV
The Storm Makers

 

Featuring brutally candid testimony, this film is a chilling exposé of Cambodia’s human trafficking underworld and an eye-opening look at the complex cycle of poverty, despair and greed that fuels this brutal modern slave trade. More than half a million Cambodians work abroad and a staggering third of these have been sold as slaves. Most are young women, held prisoner and forced to work in horrific conditions, sometimes as prostitutes, in Malaysia, Thailand and Taiwan.

 

The story is told from the perspectives of a former slave whose return home is greeted with bitterness and scorn by her mother; a successful trafficker – known in Cambodia as a “storm maker” for the havoc he and his cohorts wreak – who works with local recruiters to funnel a steady stream of poor and illiterate young people across borders; and a mother who has sold to the recruiter not only local girls, but also her own daughter.

 

POV
Point and Shoot

 

Matt VanDyke was a recent college grad with a love of video games and action movies when he decided to embark on a “crash course in manhood.” With a motorcycle and a video camera, he set off on a life-changing 35,000-mile odyssey across North Africa and the Middle East that led to his participation in the 2011 Libyan revolution against Muammar Gaddafi and six-month imprisonment in Libya.

 

As VanDyke worked to reshape himself, he also helped create a stunning portrait of how the ever-present cameras in our “selfie society” not only record our lives, but also craft who we become.

 

Drawing from more than 100 hours of VanDyke’s videos, director Marshal Curry, with full creative independence in the making of the documentary, has created a riveting film that asks thorny questions about manhood, personal risk and the nature of war in the era of social media.

 

1 2