A ‘Lynchian’ Look at Paradise – First Trailer for ‘Waikiki’ Hawaiian Film

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October 28, 2020

Source: YouTube

Waikiki Trailer

“A combination of beauty, pain, and longing…” An official trailer has debuted for a strange, mesmerizing new film titled Waikiki, marking the feature directorial debut of native Hawaiian filmmaker Christopher Kahunahana. One of the quotes in this trailer even says this “marks the emergence of a New Hawaiian Cinema” which actually might be the case. As much as that is superlative, this film seems like it might be the first of its kind – showing us a side of Hawaii we’ve never seen before. When a hula dancer on the run crashes into a broken spirit of a man (a mysterious homeless guy in the dead of night), they begin a journey into a hidden world, developing a connection through humanity, nature, and their culture. The indie film stars Danielle Zalopany as Kea, along with Peter Shinkoda, Jason Quinn, Kimo Kahoano, Nick Masciangelo, and Kainoa Mcgee. There’s tons of peculiar, surreal footage in this and it certainly got my attention. I’m more than curious about it – might be quite special, the first film of a distinct new filmmaker.

Here’s the official trailer ( poster) for Christopher Kahunahana’s Waikiki, direct from YouTube:

Waikiki Poster

In his eagerly awaited feature debut, filmmaker Christopher Kahunahana offers an unflinching glimpse into the gritty realities of life in paradise. Escaping her abusive ex, Kea (Danielle Zalopany), a part-time Hawaiian teacher, hula dancer, and nightclub hostess, crashes her beat-up van into a mysterious homeless man in the dead of night. Taking him into her temporary home on wheels, she quickly finds herself in over head—and face to face with her own past traumas. A gorgeously surrealistic and visceral allegory for the contemporary issues which continue to plague Hawaii’s people, Kahunahana’s Waikiki offers a glimmer of hope through human connection and re-connection to ‘aina (nature). Waikiki is both written and directed by indigenous Hawaiian filmmaker Christopher Kahunahana, making his feature directorial debut after the award-winning short film Lahaina Noon previously. This originally premiered at the Urbanworld Film Festival and Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival this year, and also plays at the Hawaii Film Festival. There’s still no official release date set yet – stay tuned for updates. For more info, visit the official website.

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