movies matter | criticism by maryann johanson
Fri May 07 2010, 01:18pm | 7 comments
Take a break from work: watch a trailer…
It’s like The Young Victoria, but with leis and pineapples.
Princess Kaiulani opens in the U.S. and Canada on May 14; no U.K. release date has been announced.
One of the things that pains me (of many) about this planet are the millions of indigenous peoples who lost their lands to the colonists.
This is a story that interests me. An Island Pacific female protagonist! I want to see this movie.
I could do without the love story nonsense, so Pocohontas. This is a story we’re not used to seeing yet told in that tired way that we’re all used to seeing.
Is that the actress from Whale Rider? She is so beautiful, that story was so beautiful. I sobbed the whole way through.
Is that the actress from Whale Rider?
No, that’s Q’orianka Kilcher from The New World, so good call on the Pocahontas issue.
Thanks for the heads up Joan. I’d love to see more from both young actresses.
The girl from Whale Rider is Keisha Castle-Hughes, she is Maori and from NZ (so still polynesian, but other side of the pacific). IMDb tells me Q’orianka Kilcher is actually from Peru (with a Swiss mother).
I don’t know – if I was Hawaiian, I think I’d be annoyed that whoever directed the film thought that a Peruvian actress was interchangable with a Polynesian actress, just because of having dark hair and skin.
Isobel, it is better than what they could have done…gotten Gemma Atterton to do it in brownface.
Is that really worse, though? Q’orianka Kilcher is no more Hawaian than Gemma Arterton is, and Peruvians are no more Polynesian than English people are.
Although it has become an issue for many Hawaiians in the islands that the actress portraying our beloved princess was not of ethnicity. I am a native Hawaiian and the majority of those who have already seen the film at the Hawaii International Film Festival in 2009 are overwhelmingly grateful and supportive of the film as it stays true to our history and culture while bringing awareness and exposing those responsible for the colonizing and overthrow of our Monarchy. Many of the text’s used in the movie were direct quotes from Princess Ka’iulani. However, the over-exagerated love story was mainly to appeal to a diverse group of viewers as with most Hollywood type of films. Q’orianka Kilcher was raised in Hawaii and has learned the history of Princess Ka’iulani and has played the role with grace, dignity and ethical integrity which our princess possessed. So no, it does not dissappoint or disturbs me that the role was not played by an actual Hawaiian. The most important thing is that her story be told. Mahalo Nui Loa
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