New HIFF38 documentary explores impact of tourism on Easter Island


The 38th Annual Hawaii International Film Festival, or “HIFF38”, will take place from November 8th to December 2nd at locations on Oahu, Kauai, the Big Island, and Maui. 

Among the films premiering at the festival is a new documentary exploring the impact of global tourism on the fragile environment and culture of Easter Island.

In “Eating Up Easter”, native Easter Island filmmaker Sergio Mata’u Rapu explores the modern dilemma of the Rapanui people, descendants of the ancient statue builders, as they face the consequences of global tourism and rapid development in their homeland.

“The misrepresentation of Rapanui culture has been the fuel behind my interest in telling stories. But as I dug deeper into the problems and complexities of living on a remote island, I found universal qualities reflected in the wealthiest continents on the planet,” says Rapu.

“The truth is that we are all the same, living on our own little island in the vast universe. But our story is not a cautionary tale, because we are still alive, we hold the power to correct our course in history as my ancestors did.”

HIFF38, presented by the Halekulani, prides itself on being a bridge between “East and West”.

The Festival will screen 187 films from 35 countries — ranging from festival favorites such as the Spotlight on Japan and Spotlight on Korea programs, annual program such as Spotlight on Taiwan and Spotlight on India, and films from Sundance, Cannes, and Toronto (Awards Buzz), special sidebars on the environment (Green Screen), culinary cinema (Eat.Drink.Film.), Asian genre cinema (Extreme Asia), and a special program around renowned filmmaker Wong Kar-wai.

The Festival will also feature new works from Pacific Islander cinema artists (Pacific Showcase), the sophomore year of the competition section for locally-based films (Made in Hawaii), and a brand new competition section for emerging filmmakers, the Kau Ka Hōkū Award.

The mission of HIFF38 is to entertain, enlighten and inspire.


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