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Ten Years of Bringing the Heart and Soul of the Pacific

Now in its tenth season, the anthology series PACIFIC HEARTBEAT brings the authentic Pacific – people, cultures, languages, music and contemporary issues – to your screen. This new season presents four new documentary films recounting diverse aspects of pacific lives, and two encore presentations that delve into the spiritual and cultural world of hula, Hawaiʻi and beyond. The nationally distributed series is a production of Pacific Islanders in Communications in partnership with PBS Hawai‘i, and is distributed nationally by American Public Television.

The Australian Dream

Sat., May 1, 8:00 pm

This film tells the story of sports legend Adam Goodes and the abrupt end to his career in the Australian Football League (AFL). His love for the sport is an homage to his indigenous culture, which created the first football game known as Marn Grook. But when he objected to racial abuse from fans, Goodes became the target of a sustained booing campaign that drove him from the game. His story raises critical issues of race, identity and belonging in contemporary Australia.

For My Father’s Kingdom

Sat., May 8, 8:00 pm

Director Vea Mafile‘o’s Tongan father Saia drives this deeply personal film. Pensioner Saia Mafile‘o’s dedication to raising large amounts of money for Misinale (an annual church donation celebration) upset his children and splintered his marriage. Vea raises thorny questions about the relationship between money and the church in Tongan culture – questions that caused her Kiwi/Tongan family pain. She returns to Tonga to attend the Misinale and learn why the financial sacrifice matters to her father.


Sat., May 15, 8:00 pm

New Zealand singer and television personality Stan Walker was born with a gene that gave him – and most of his whānau (family) – cancer. This moving film documents his tumultuous journey to recovery. He leans on his mom, his faith and his Māori culture to cope. But the fate of his family’s health and the future of his singing voice weighs heavily on Stan’s mind. In an intimate look at health and healing, the film invites the viewers to contemplate their relationships with own their bodies.

Tokyo Hula

Sat., May 22, 8:00 pm

This documentary by Lisette Flanary explores the phenomenal popularity of hula in Japan from both Native Hawaiian and Japanese perspectives. An estimated two million people dance hula in Japan – a figure greater than the entire population of Hawai‘i. The explosive growth has created a multi-million dollar industry. Through interviews with Hawaiian master hula teachers and Japanese students, the film poses important questions about what happens to culture when it is exported.

American Aloha: Hula Beyond Hawaiʻi

Sat., May 29, 8:00 pm

From 2003, this film features kumu hula of three different immigrant Hawaiian communities in California who speak about the challenges of community building, conflicted allegiances, the divide between traditionalists and innovators, and the search for ways to preserve identity and culture through the teaching of hula. Featured kumu hula are Mark Keali‘i Ho‘omalu, Sissy Lilinoe Kaio and Patrick Makuakāne.

Nā Kamalei: The Men of Hula

Sat., June 5, 8:00 pm

From 2006, Nā Kamalei: The Men of Hula, follows legendary teacher, musician and Hawaiian cultural figure Robert Cazimero and the only all-male hula halau in Hawai‘i. Going beyond deep-rooted stereotypes, the film reveals a story of Hawaiian pride through the examination of male roles in the hula tradition – past and present.