Long ago, four extraordinary beings of dual male and female spirit, led by Kapaemahu, brought certain healing arts from Tahiti to Hawaii and were loved by the people for their gentle ways and the miraculous cures they performed.
KAPAEMAHU is an amazing short film. The story told, an ancient and important Hawaiian tale that has been hidden for many years, finds in the animation medium the perfect way to be depicted. With warm colors, very good drawings, perfect music and a vibrating and deep voice as narrator. It is the story of four mahu, beings that are at the same time both male and female, who hold wondrous healing powers. From Tahiti to Hawaii, Kapaemahu and their three companions arrive and share their abilities to heal the people of the islands. To thank the mahu, the Hawaiians collect four stones and set them on the shore, chanting and celebrating while the mahu transfer their powers inside them. What happens then is that, after many years and especially after the advent of the Westerners and their colonization, this story is forgotten and hidden. Even when re-discovered, the stones look like just something turistic and have lost their magic if you cannot look at them with the right eye. This film tells how colonizers brought transphobia to the islands, suppressing such an amazing story, important and priceless to the Hawaiian and Polynesian culture.
KAPAEMAHU is in the Oscars shortlist for animated short films. It has won many awards, such as Best Short Film at Animayo, Best Animated Shorts at Atlanta Film Festival, Best Animated Short at Bengaluru International Short Film Festival, Audience Award at Indianapolis LGBT Film Festival and many more. It has also been nominated and in competition in a lot more.
Director: Joe Wilson, Dean Hamer, Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu
Running time: 8