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Occupy Wall Street: Outing the Ringers

Jay Smooth has a powerful, honest and thoughtful take on the OWS protests.  It’s been great to be in Northern California during these weeks because I’ve witnessed diverse, passionate and determined activism. The only other Hawaiian I encountered here is Kealoha Blake in Berkeley and he’s quite an inspiration.  He brings such aloha to his work with these activists…  it’s easy to get a contact high off people like these OWS folks!  When I saw this YouTube post I thought it captured a lot of what I’ve seen and felt here in Oakland, Berkeley and San Francisco.  If only Us Guyz in Hawaii Nei would get our minds around self determination… oh my brudahz and sistaz, how so much of this world we inhabit would stand with us in solidarity!

Anywayz, this is a nice piece.  Have a look.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9zkQcLi4Yo&feature=player_embedded

“Noho Hewa” screening at UC Berkeley, Oct 3

Mahalo nui to the UC Berkeley’s Department of History for sponsoring the screening and to Lauren Hirshberg who organized this very last minute, but well attended event.  The Q&A was excellent and the students and community members who attended asked tough, but important questions and gave equally important and insightful comments about the political and cultural matters the film addresses.

“Noho Hewa” receives Grand Festival Award at 20th Annual Berkeley Video & Film Festival

Mahalo nui to the Berkeley Video & Film Festival for awarding “Noho Hewa” in the documentary category.  This is a gem of a local fest and they go out of their way to make sure independent film has a venue in their community.  Truly appreciated the experience.  Also at the festival screening and as part of the talk-story afterward, was an inspiring African-American scholar and all around prolific author, Gerald Horne.  He has written about 20 books, one of which is about the Pacific– “The White Pacific — U.S. Imperialism and Black Slavery in the South Seas after the Civil War”.

Big aloha and mahalo to Ku Ching for twisting my arm about this festival, and to Amy Marsh who made sure festival organizers received a copy of the film for consideration.  If it had been left up to me none of this would have happened.

Also, mahalo nui to Tia Ballantine who hosted part of my stay.  During my time here 3 young black men were gunned down within a few blocks of her home and 2 of them died.  The federal government is considering taking control of the Oakland PD.    Anywayz, Tia’s blog about Oakland is part reportage, part homage– powerful stuff. www.tiaballantine.org  Have a look.

Please see the link below for a review that appeared in the Berkeley Daily Planet.  Ignore the photo and the odd reference to “basking.”  The Q&A was brief this time so I talked as fast as I could about the occupation.  Also, another film mentioned in this review, “Enforcing the Silence,” is a super important story about the 1981 assassination of Vietnamese-American journalist, Lam Duong, who was shot outside his home in San Francisco in broad daylight.

 http://www.berkeleydailyplanet.com/issue/2011-10-07/article/38546?headline=Best-of-the-Berkeley-Video-Film-Fest-Fifty-Three-Films-in-Three-Days

1st Guam International Film Festival Features “Noho Hewa”

Mahalo nui to the Guam International Film Festival for a special screening of “Noho Hewa” on October 2nd.  The film was represented during the Q&A that followed the screening by local activists and advocates for their homeland.  Here is an excerpt from an email they sent to me after the event:

Hafa Adai Keala:

“Words cannot fully express the feeling that resonated within us with your message. We are very thankful for the opportunity we have had to represent for Noho Hewa here on island. What a completely different experience to see the film on big screen! It is unfortunate that there was not much time allotted for after-film discussion, and we were bound by a 10-minute time constraint. We are hoping to get the film screened here in other venues….”

Guinaiya-ta
i famalao’an gi tano’-ta (the women of our land)

Also, mahalo to Tina DeLisle and Vince Diaz at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, for their thoughtful support and for hooking me up with the courageous women of Guam.  This was the first time the film was shown at a festival with only local representation.