Stories of the Pacific at the Waimea Theater Saturday

WAIMEA — The vast Pacific Ocean offers intriguing stories that are oftentimes overlooked and obscured by time and history.

But storytellers have brought to life six films that depict the peoples, cultures and issues encapsulated in the largest division of the world ocean.

“Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom,” “Taming Wild,” “How to Change the World,” “Red Gold,” “Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World” and “Wayfinders: A Pacific Odyssey” will shown at the Friday Harbor Film Festival’s Stories of the Pacific at the Waimea Theater Saturday.

“We’re in the middle of the Pacific, and I thought everyone could relate to them on the some level,” said Lynn Danaher, director of the Friday Harbor Film Festival.

The festival is part of a celebration to mark the fifth year of the festival, which takes place in Washington state. A question and answer session will be held after every film.

“Their willingness to organize and put money into this so that Kauai has a different window to look through is such a blessing for us,” said Puni Patrick of the Waimea Theater. “

The collaboration between the film festival and the theater is Danaher’s way of giving back to the island.

“Here’s a woman who wants to integrate herself into the community and who is using her resources to bring us something different, something we wouldn’t have had if she weren’t here,” Patrick said.

Local hero, things to consider, exploration and tales of the heart are themes patrons will be exposed to Saturday.

“It’s a great selection,” said Danaher, a part-time Hanapepe resident. “’In Taming Wild,’ a woman took a wild mustang off range in eastern Washington, with the question, ‘Will she let me ride her, if I build enough trust.’” It’s the most heartwarming story because she didn’t use any force, horse allowed her to do it. It was really quite revealing.”

“Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom” is a documentary about mother nature and the Japanese cherry blossoms. It tells the story of a man who is a 15th-generation cherry master.

“How to Change the World” follows the adventure of young Canadian hippie journalists, photographers musicians, scientists and American draft dodgers who try to stop Richard Nixon’s atomic bomb tests in Alaska.

“Red Gold” is set in southwest Alaska, which is home to two popular salmon runs. In the film, a mining company has proposed a mine at the headwaters of the two rivers.

“In Wayfinders: A Pacific Odyssey,” the hokulea comes back to life.

Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World explores a myth from the Haida Gwaii tribe, which is from Canada.

“Several generations ago, there was a monster storm that lasted for 10 days, when it abated, they went out to see how villages withstood. And when they went to coast, they found an outrigger canoe with one survivor,” Danaher said. “He ended up being a Hawaiian man who somehow survived being blown across sea and ended up on outer coast.”

That man was integrated into the community, and the Haida and Polynesian cultures share a genetic link, Danaher said.

“The Haida chief is coming here to talk about that film,” she said. “That’s important to emphasize, I want people to come and meet their cousins.”

The festival runs 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Tickets are $10 per film and $40 for an all day pass, available at the Waimea Theater.


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