Rotuma Island HistoryHistory of Rotuma Island
Country (That) has got Eyes | Ka'iwak?loumoku
The Rotuman Sapeta Taito is playing Viki, who is fighting for her family's honour after her dad was wrongfully sentenced for theft by a rich neighbour. In the coming years, if you have not seen The Land Has in the Pacific, you will not be able to have an insightful talk about tribal film-making.
Hereniko's "Film for Rotuma" is as important as warriors and whale riders once were. Staged, scripted and co-produced by a Rotuman natives; it shows a 98% line-up of Rotuman natives -- all new to the actor; it was recorded in Rotuma by a Rotuma staff accommodated and chaired by Rotumans; it was recorded in the Rotuman vernacular with British captions; and it is entirely Rotuman myths, history and lifestyles.
To put it briefly, it's difficult to imagine a movie that could be more original in all its technological and artistic respects. Called "a small movie with great resonance", The Country Has in the Dole Cannery Theatre until 24 March 2005; it is shown every day at 12:00, 14:30, 17:00 and 22:00 Mai nho 'oe a 'ikemaka 'ole; do not see.
ROTUMUMA is an island in isolation, nine by two, about 300 nautical leagues from Fiji. They are Polynesians with their own languages, but they have been connected to Fiji since the colonisation of Britain in 1881. Born in Rotuman, Vilsoni Hereniko, like his hero Viki, received a fellowship for his training at the Queen Victoria School in Fiji.
Hereniko, like Viki, now holds a professorship at the Center for Pacific Island Studies, University of Hawai'i M?noa, following the words of Hapati, Viki's father: "And like Viki, he has again devoted himself to the way Hapati has taken for his role-troubled daughter: "In Pear ta ma'on Maf -- The Landgrave Has Evyes, Hereniko's feather (may she buy everything he needs) recounts a straightforward, loose autobiography film.
Viki's dad is wrongly charged by his rich neighbour with having stolen coir nuts for coprah. Hapati and the court do not understand each other's speech, so that Hapati is found to have been found guilty and has one year to repay a penalty that goes far beyond his limitations. Viki, the daugther who "must know everything", has hidden under the judge's sill.
In explaining the error of law to her fathers, he refused to go back to the court because he was "ashamed enough" and because he believed in the Rotuman proverb: "The country has got sight, the country has got it. Righteousness, he says, will come in due course and in its way to those who are loyal to the people.
He/it sticks to this saying silently and non-apologetically, with a persuasion which unfortunately defined its woman as "greater than your believe in Jesus". "Hapatis beliefs are not without heartbreaking conclusions known to all natives whose fight for humanity, sovereignty, unity and unity often burden the mind beyond the body's capacity to withstand.
Hapatis heritage of fire and faith sets fire to a storm of fear in Viki, from which a new female soldier arises, whose brave, conventionally hostile character is indeed as old as the foundation legend of Rotuma itself. Hapati's re-telling of this legend begins with The Land Has Eric. His oldest elder is subjecting his older sibling to an "unforgivable act" and then leaves her on a secluded, unpopulated island.
She survived, gave life through harsh work and wild resolve and became known to later generation as the first Rotuma resident and warrior. As her ancestor, the warrior, Viki faces the most fundamental choice: sinking or swimming, submitting or resisting, accepting or redefining.
Based on the rapeseed and abandoned cinders, the warrior creates a harmonious Rotuman state. In Viki's day, Rotuma fell prey to the more subtler but also darker attack of the colonialists years later. During her culminating fellowship interviews, Viki will restore the old tunes or at least give Rotuma a big push in the right directions when she becomes the sound - and the fangs - of her country.
As soon as the storm of old righteousness abates, a grateful chieftain Viki insures that "your surname will become a cute scent" for all Rotuma. Reviewer of The Land Has Evyes have a tendency to characterise Viki's achievement as the outcome of her capacity to unite her indigenous hearts and non-native brains, her capacity to reconcile her tradional qualities with West aspirations.
Restoring her family's good name, she goes to Fiji to meet her spiritual needs; defending her inheritance and pursuing her own aspirations; speaking for the country and winning a voucher to get out; she has her pie and ate it. Such interpretation is a subtle humiliation of local intelligentsia and motivations.
It implies that scholarly interests somehow conflict with tribal cultures, and it implies that the quest for West African academia is a self-interested task of local cultures. There is no need to look any further than Hereniko himself to realize that magic is nurtured in local houses and that many of us have abandoned these houses to acquire the arms necessary to protect, characterize and party our population.
That' s what I see when Viki gets on her Fiji at the end of the film. In her recently released book Aloha Betrayed, Noenoe Silva defined the local leadership as "the battle of discourse". "She states that the Hawaiians are fighting this battle since "No ka Pono Kahiko a Me ka Pono Hou" (On the Old Pono and the New Pono) in 1834 in the first issue of Ka Lama Hawai'i, our first hawaiian paper.
Herenico's moment of a film draws our gaze to a discursive gender in which we are unfortunately under-represented. The Land Has is reminding us of the need for more pencils and vocal expression. "It' s long since the Pacific Islanders are not just consuming other people' s pictures of themselves," says Hereniko.
They have their own warriors, our Hi'iakas, Keaomelemeles, Manonos, Lili'us, Pi'ilani Ko'olaus and the Vikis they are emulating.