‘Finding Ohana’ Is A Movie About Hawaiian Heritage
Ohana is a Hawaiian word that means “family.”
By Omotayo Olutekunbi
The term Ohana was first used in Disney’s Lilo & Stitch in 2002. When broken down, the title very much sums up the movie’s overall message. ‘Finding Ohana’ is a story about a group of people who are searching for each other Ohana (Adventure) + Finding (Mystery) (Family).
Pili (Kea Peahu), the main character, wins a bicycle-driven quest in the crowded streets of New York, setting the tone for the adventure that follows. ‘Finding Ohana’ is an adventure film with a strong focus on family and the allure of Hawaiian culture.
In the summer, two Brooklyn-raised siblings (Ioane and Pili) travel to Oahu to visit their grandfather, where they discover a notebook that leads them to a long-forgotten treasure hunt.
The primary purpose of securing these gems at first is to safeguard their family’s financial security when they return to New York. Ioane and Pili are first critical of their surroundings, but with the support of another set of siblings, Hana, a Hawaii-born and reared adolescent with ambitions to pursue music at Julliard, and her younger brother Casper, they are able to overcome their reservations. Pili is befriended by this cute nerdy cat lover. The kids start to bond as they travel through tale and myth, learning about their Hawaiian heritage along the way.
While we focus on the tall palm trees, sparkling fountains, and beautiful islands that Hawaii is known for, the spiritual core of the island is not overlooked. Poi, Laulu-meals, and belief in the afterlife are all examples of nose greetings. It’s energizing to look at life from a more simple yet sophisticated perspective. ‘Finding Ohana’ is notable for taking a more in-depth look at the Hawaiian experience.
Pili and Eolane provide the most comic relief in the film. They’re always yelling at each other, which we have to admit is really endearing.
Lindsay Watson, 25, gave it her all in this film. Being an aspiring singer in the film and in real life, as well as being Hawaiian-born, adds a lot of realism to her portrayal. She spoke about her persona Hana, her Hawaiian background, and aspirations in a recent interview with GLITTERMAGROCKS, saying,
Honestly, Hana and I are almost the same exact person; it’s almost crazy. We are both Hawaiian girls raised in Hawai’i, surrounded by our culture and family. We are both passionate about preserving our culture and protecting our family at any cost. We are very loving and sweet, but you definitely don’t want to cross us, or you’re going to see a very different side! We’re strong women, and we love to care for those around us. I’d say the only difference between us is that Hana hasn’t quite made the decision to leave the islands and follow her dreams, and I did, and it was so worth it!
“Growing up in Hawaii and experiencing the culture first hand honestly gave me a true advantage in the film.”
My biggest goal for 2021 is to work on more projects that tell beautiful stories and inspire me. It would be a dream to work on a dramatic piece this year and really challenge myself as an actor and really test my limits. I’d also love to start working on some music for the first time! Music is so dear to me, and I’ve always had a desire to create my own music, so maybe 2021 will be the year to finally do it. Finally, I also love to write movies and tv shows, so hopefully, I can start dipping over to creating my very own projects.
Lindsay Watson has won me over as a fan, and I can’t wait to see and hear more of her talents, whether as a singer or an actress.
It was extremely predictable for a two-hour adventure-mystery film! Key moments were predictable due to the story’s low stakes. The smooth tropical journey through one of the most beautiful parts of the world, however, compensates for this drawback. ‘Finding Ohana’ has piqued my curiosity in Hawaii, not only for its visual beauty, but also for the sacred meanings the islands bear.
Surprisingly, this Entertaining Netflix Family-Comedy has reawakened every inner adventurer. Highly recommended movie to watch
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