“BUMPY” KANAHELE STARS IN ALOHA
AlohaIn 1993, “Bumpy” Kanahele organized an occupation at a famous tourist beach, protesting the illegality of America’s possession of Hawai?i, which was annexed by military force without a plebiscite. After fifteen months, Governor John Waihe?e offered his group a 45-acre parcel if the protesters would leave. They agreed and received a renewable 55-year lease at a cost of $3,000 a year (about $60 annually per adult at the time). In 1994, the group proclaimed itself the Independent Sovereign Nation of Hawai?i. The film Aloha, filmed in part of their domain on the windward side of O?ahu, definitely gets the Hawaiian sovereignty message out—that some do not accept the American takeover of the Hawaiian Islands. Although Kanahele’s role is in a subplot, the aloha that he shares with some of the lead actors is genuine, but the connection with the main plot of the film is a bit of a stretch. The film presumes that Kanahele was a wartime buddy of Brian Cooper (played by Bradley Cooper), who arrives at Hickam one day to provide computer launching of a satellite from Ka?ena Point, O?ahu. Cooper is working for a tycoon, Carson Welch (Bill Murray) who is under contract with the U.S. Air Force to launch a satellite into space for reasons that become known later in the film. Upon arrival, Cooper is assigned to Air Force Captain Allison Ng (Emma Stone), a personal aide who incredulously claims to be part-Swedish and one-fourth Hawaiian despite having a Chinese surname. (Not only is her skin very white but she lacks the accent derived from the local creole language.) When the two meet Kanahele at his domain in Waiamanalo, he points out that the sky is the property of no human, whereupon Allison oddly assures him that the 1967 Outer Space Treaty bans the use of weapons in outer space. That line is the first clue about what the film is really about. When the full secret is later revealed, her fawning romance with Cooper ends until he later reveals his opinion about Welch’s intentions as if influenced by Ng. Other relationships, providing “sitcom” elements, also seem contrived to hold the attention of date night filmviewers. Director Cameron Crowe makes an effort to provide “trivial pursuit” nuggets of information about the culture of Native Hawaiians as well as some male and female hula exhibitions, but their role in the main plot is gratuitous. Absent from recognition in the film are the Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, and multiracial residents who constitute at least half the population of the Islands. The title clearly does not convey the essence of the plot and appears to have been chosen without consulting local experts in order to qualify for the state’s tax credit as a film “promoting Hawai?i.” According to an anonymous crew member, the original screenplay “Dark Tiki had more reference to the culture of Native Hawaiians than studio executives would allow
. MH

THE FOURTH NOBLE TRUTH SHOWS THE LIMITS OF BUDDHISM IN HOLLYWOOD
The Fourth Noble TruthAn egotistical Hollywood star, Aaron (played by Harry Hamlin), is in trouble with the law. His attorney suggests that he see a meditation specialist, Rachel (Kristen Kerr), who can report on his improvements so that the judge will give an appropriate sentence for his road rage. After identifying the four noble truths, she daily explains the eight steps to enlightenment (with titles on the screen). But Aaron finds Rachel sexually irresistible, though she has taught him the Buddhist principle that unhappiness is a direct result of selfish desire. Both characters are transformed as the plot unfolds, but important scenes in that transformation have to be assumed by filmviewers because they are not on the screen. Writer-director Gary McDonald appears to want to teach the truths of Buddhism, even in sin-city Tinstletown. MH

1915
'71
Age of Uprising
Aloha
American Sniper
Bethlehem
The Better Angels
Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain
Boys of Abu Ghraib
Burning Blue
Camp X-Ray
Cesar Chavez
A Coffee in Berlin
Coldwater
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Dear White People
Devil's Knot
Difret
Diplomacy
Divergent
Don't Think I've Forgotten
The Fourth Noble Truth
Far From Men
Fifty Shades of Grey
Fort McCoy
Free the Nipple
Frontera
Fury
Giovanni's Island
The Giver
Good Kill
Ilo Ilo
The Imitation Game
The Immigrant
Interstellar
The Interview
The Kill Team
Kill The Messenger
The Last Sentence
Legends of Oz
The Liberator
The Longest Ride
Love Is Strange
Lullaby
The Monuments Men
A Most Wanted Man
Night Moves
Noble
Omar
Outcast
Policeman
Pride
The Railway Man
The Retrieval
Rosewater
Selma
Siddharth
Skin Trade
Tangerines
The Theory of Everything
Timbuktu
Transcendence
Unbroken
Walking with the Enemy
White God
Woman in Gold




NOMINATED FILMS
FOR 2015
(click on a title to read
a PFS review)

DEMOCRACY
Timbuktu

EXPOSÉ
Noble
Woman in Gold

HUMAN RIGHTS
Noble
Timbuktu
Woman in Gold

PEACE
Tangerines
Timbuktu

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