Monday, June 26, 2017

"Kumu Hina": a transgender woman teachers a male troupe in Hawaii


On Monday, June 26m 2017, PBS Independent Lens presented “Kumu Hina” (“A Place in the Middle”),, by Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson.

The film starts with an animated summary of the tradition among native Hawaiians of a special place for transgender feature, which Christian missionaries tried to destroy in the 19th Century (the time of Michener’s book). Then the film presents the biography of male-to-female transgender dance troupe teacher Hina Wong-Kalu, who emerges from a troubled childhood to be happily married to a woman.

She mentors another transgender child in the troupe, Ho’oanai. She says the most important moral priority in life is to "love a person for who they are."

The troupe contains a variety of men, including natives and European white cis males.



The PBS link for the film is here. It has played in many festivals, including Frameline.

The film was cut from 72 minutes to 56 to fit into a one-hour format.

Picture: By Hawaii Land Cover Analysis project, NOAA Coastal Services Center - Image and its description., Public Domain

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