AGORA
: Dragged from her chariot by a mob of fanatical vigilante Christian monks, the revered astronomer was stripped naked, skinned to her bones with sharp oyster shells, stoned and burned alive as possibly the first executed witch in history. A kind of purge that was apparently big business back then.


CRITICAL WOMEN HEADLINES

5/14/10

Hawaiian Historical Society Responds to Princess Kaiulani Review


Aloha e Ms. Miller...

I have read your review of Marc Forby's version of Princess Ka'iulani's life, and appreciated your comments about Hawai'i's submerged history. I assume, though, that you are aware that Mr. Forby takes considerable dramatic license with what Ka'iulani experienced in England (Great Harrowden Hall was anything but the miserable place/experience that he portrays it as, and the romance is also largely a fiction - I doubt Ke Ali'i Ka'iulani would have been pleased by either depiction).
I imagine you were aware of Ka'iulani as a historical/cultural figure before this film?

While I am waiting to see the finished film (I've read the script in its several drafts...save for the first, which elders in the Hawaiian community found so offensive in some of its content that Mr. Forby was forced to alter it), it remains a matter of ambivalence or controversy for members of both the Hawai'i history and ethnic/cultural communities...for a variety of reasons.

It is a pity that a "romance" had to be resorted to at all (but I suppose Hollywood formula dictates here)...since Ka'iulani did so many interesting things that I am assuming are not depicted in the film...as they are absent from the scripts. (From surfing to playing the violin...and she was quite a talented artist).

But of course "romance" - and naturally with a white man [one is unhappily reminded of the Pocahontas/John Smith convention, particularly with Ms. Kilcher in the lead] - takes precedence over the things an intelligent young woman might otherwise occupy her time with. Aue no ho'i e!

I hope the film truly awakens Americans to at least some of the issues centered on the theft of the Hawaiian nation from its people. I also hope that some gifted Hawai'i/indigenous documentary makers will in the near future make a fact-based documentary about Ka'iulani's real life...which is dramatic enough without an assortment of fictional baggage.

All the best,
Mindi Reid
Hawaiian Historical Society

READ PRINCESS KAIULANI MOVIE REVIEW HERE

No comments:

Post a Comment