AMERICAN ALOHA: HULA BEYOND HAWAIʻI discovers a renaissance of Hawaiian culture through music, language and dance as it continues to grow in California.
For Hawaiians, the hula is not just a dance, but a way of life. Yet while most Americans know only the stereotypes of ʻgrass-skirt girlsʻ from old Hollywood movies and tourist kitsch, the revival of the ancient art of hula tells of the rich history and spirituality of Hawaiʻi. AMERICAN ALOHA: HULA BEYOND HAWAIʻI discovers a renaissance of Hawaiian culture through music, language and dance as it continues to grow in California. Following three kumu hula, or master hula teachers, the film celebrates the perpetuation of a culture – from the very traditional to the contemporary – as it evolves on distant shores. With more Native Hawaiians living on the U.S. continent than on the islands, the hula is a living tradition that connects generations far from home to their heritage. Revealing the challenges of cultural survival through the struggles of Hawaiʻi’s past, American Aloha is a proud reminder of the power of reclaiming tradition for communities creating a home away from home.