Tag Archives: hawaii

Movie Review: Kumu Hina (2014)

Kumu Hina is a documentary film about the life of Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu (Hina), a teacher of the traditional dance of Hawaii and a transgender woman. The film focuses overtly upon four aspects of Hina’s life: her attempt to teach a group of male students at Hālau Lokahi Public Charter School how to perform traditional Hawaiian dance, her mentoring of a transgender boy (Hoonani Kamai) who is attempting to join the male group, her work as the chair of the Oahu Island Burial Council, and Hina’s relationship and marriage to her Fijian husband, Hema.

But there is a continual subtext of a fifth aspect to Hina, which is the story of the traditional transgender people of Hawaii and the Pacific Islands, who are called māhū*. The māhū have been a respected part of Hawaiian culture since antiquity, and were noted as existing by the first Europeans who visited the islands. However, with the influx of European Christianity and its missionaries, several attempts were made over time to demonize and criminalize the māhū out of existence. For Hina, teaching the language, the dance, and working with the young transgender boy is part of her work to preserve the māhū culture.

A complete movie review of this very well-done documentary can be found at this link.

Join Us for a Free Film Screening and Panel Discussion

Kuma Hina
On Saturday, April 11 at 11am, Community Cinema presents Kumu Hina.

Imagine a world where a little boy can grow up to be the woman of her dreams, and a trans boy can rise to become a leader among men. Welcome to Kumu Hina’s Hawai’i.

During a momentous year in her life in modern Honolulu, Hina Wong-Kalu, a native Hawaiian māhū, or transgender, teacher uses traditional culture to inspire a student to claim her place as leader of the school’s all-male hula troupe. But despite her success as a teacher, Hina longs for love and a committed relationship. Will her marriage to a headstrong Tongan man fulfill her dreams? An incredible docudrama that unfolds like a narrative film, “Kumu Hina” reveals a side of Hawai’i rarely seen on screen.

After the film, a panel will discuss recent events impacting KC’s transgender community as well as its history. Una Nowling from Transas City, and community partners from The Transgender Institute will be on the panel.

Please note: The program and film start at 11 a.m., so please plan to arrive at least a few minutes early.

Kumu Hina
Saturday, April 11 at 11am
Tivoli Cinemas – 4050 Pennsylvania Ave Kansas City, MO 64111

You may RSVP by this link.