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Pacific arts shine at San Diego Asian Film Festival

Social Chaos: Scene Out

Kumu Hina at the San Diego Asian Film Festival | PHOTO: ANA PINES

It was hard choosing what to see at the annual San Diego Asian Film Festival so I decided not to look at the schedule and just show up. Ironically, the two movies that were starting each time I went had LGBT themes. I saw Kumu Hina and Anita’s Last Cha Cha.

Kumu Hina is a documentary that follows the life of Hina who is a “Mahu” (a “middle”, or third gender person as they are identified in Hawaii). She teaches traditional Hawaiian dance, language and song in an effort to preserve the culture that was suppressed when they were colonized. We also get to meet one of her students Ho’onani who everyone agrees is also a “Mahu”. Ho’onani’s dedication to the boys’ troupe is unfaltering and Hina finds it inevitable that she makes her leader of the performing boys’ hula troupe. Hina is also working on her marriage to a headstrong Tongan man. She feels blessed to have found a partner but there are still struggles of acceptance. So many things make up whom we are and this movie was able to represent a lot of the layers that make up Hina.

Anita’s Last Cha Cha made me recall the feelings of having a crush on someone older when you’re a kid. The confusion you feel when you can’t get this person out of your head and the inevitable heartbreak. 12-year-old Anita’s heart starts to beat fast for Pilar, who has recently returned to her hometown after several years abroad. The town gossip is relentless when it comes to her return. The audience sees Anita’s coming of age and Pilar’s truth unravel at the same time. You’d never think a movie with a mix of topics about sexuality, gender, abortion, abuse and aging could have you laughing and crying at the same time.

Support Pacific Arts Movement throughout the year at http://pacarts.org/

Honky

Cortez L. Johnson and Deleon Dallas in Honky | PHOTO: DAREN SCOTT

San Diego REPertory Theatre is showing the Southern California premier of Honky written by Greg Kalleres. A young black teenager is shot for his trendy new shoes and the writer of the commercial is feeling guilty that it might’ve been the influence of his commercial, which glorifies violence. Although the play deals with a lot of topics including consumerism, interracial dating, marketing, and has several funny moments it wasn’t ground breaking in my opinion. White people are feeling “nervous” and “confused” about what to say and do when it comes to talking about race as if they’re victims. The main character can barely finish a sentence when he finds out his therapist is black as if he suffers from not knowing what to say or do around “minorities”. This only displays the facts that for some white people minorities are still “other”. It also tries to cast a light on racism by saying that we’re all racist. This argument is not only tired but it’s the reason that we don’t move forward. We need to admit the discrepancies that exist in our society such as in education, employment and the media. If everyone were equally racist, we’d all have equal opportunities since no one would be capable of having privilege over another.

The inspiration for the play came to Kalleres when he was working as a copywriter for brands like Jordans, which were targeting black youth yet the business was overwhelmingly white-dominated. I’d be more impressed with a play that delves into the minds of that white-dominated corporate room and why they all think it’s OK.

You have until Dec. 7 to check it out for yourself. http://www.sdrep.org

World AIDS Day

Tree of Life on World AIDS Day | PHOTO: ANA PINES

Mama’s Kitchen hosted Tree of Life at Village Hillcrest Monday, Dec. 1 for World AIDS Day. It’s the 23rd annual event, honoring those affected by AIDS. Community members purchased ornaments to commemorate those that lost the battle to this disease and benefit Mama’s Kitchen, San Diego’s only county-wide meal delivery service for hundreds of men, women and children affected by AIDS or cancer. Attendees brought non-perishable food donations for Mama’s pantry program, viewed the AIDS quilts that were displayed, listened to holiday tunes by the Gay Men’s Chorus, lit candles of remembrance and hung red AIDS ribbons on the Red Ribbon Wall sponsored by AIDS Healthcare Foundation. You can donate at: http://www.mamaskitchen.org/



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Posted by on Dec 4, 2014. Filed under Bottom Highlights, Scene Out. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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