• Alice Potter

MMTM at the movies! // MMTM #6

Hawaiʻi Women in Filmmaking took us to the movies to see the Women of Wonders Film Festival! The Women of Wonders Film Festival is a free and open event for the public that focuses on the achievements and life stories of women of all walks of life, from around the globe including those from Hawaiʻi. Because the students have been racking their brains for ideas on how to execute a fabulous film, taking a break to observe filmmakers in their creative element was a wonderful break! At around 3:30pm the guests began to trickle in and settled themselves into the seats at the Doris Duke Theatre to watch the short films program. After Vera introduced the event, the Women of Wonders Film Festival day #2 began.

As the room went dark, the screen opened with a scene of a young girl pouring tea from a teapot, into a glass, observing the glass’s contents, and then pouring it back into the teapot. She repeated this several times in order for her to capture the perfect picture on her phone. Eventually she got the perfect look for her tea, but unexpectedly, the battery in her phone died, so she angrily marched to find her charger. While the tea sat unattended, an older lady (most likely a family member) inched over with her walker only to gulp down the refreshing beverage and hobble away without a care in the world. As the girl returned with her charger she looked to find found the tea glass empty, and the movie ends.

The next film began with a young boy drawing outside with chalk. A girl comes up behind him and asks to play with her. As he goes into the house, he walks into a room to grab toys, sheets, and miscellaneous items. He creates a cozy tent for he and the girl to play in. As they play, the girl pulls out a wooden box. Inside sits a blue feather, which she hands to the boy. Without hesitation, he leaps up to hug her tight. Immediately after the hug, the scene was disturbed by the boy’s mother, who yanked the tent off and yelled at him for messing up the room, where the sister sat was empty. She took the toys and the sheets, setting the room back to its previous (darker) state. The boy left the room with his feather in hand. The last scene is he boy finishing his chalk drawing on the pavement. There lies the memory of his sister, drawn on the asphalt with the feather beside her. The boy had imagined his sister’s presence.

​The following film opened with the scene of an empty house and a young woman talking to a smart-speaker. The woman’s younger sister comes from another empty room, voicing her displeasure for leaving their childhood home. The older sister assures her that everything will turn out well. As the younger sister is left alone, she begins to reminisce about times spent with her family in the house. As she walks through the house, she revisits the memories of her childhood - cooking with her parents, getting ready for parties with her family, her parents fighting, and other memories. She eventually comes back to the present and asks the smart-speaker where everyone is at the moment. The speaker responds by telling her that their mother is driving, their father is in his new house, and that both the sisters are at home. As the older sister comes into the room, the younger sister with a smile tells the smart-speaker to remove the category “home” from their current house. The film concluded with the speaker complying.

The screen went from black to showing an animated flower on a table. The flower was mesmerized by a painting of a sunset, and made a squeak of desire. All of a sudden, the flower nearly fell off its perch, but a trusty table saved it. The table then looked up to the painting on the wall. Like the flower, the table too wished to see this beauty and gallivanted (with the flower still on top of it) out the door. While the table and flower were trotting along the road, they came across a flower growing on a bush. The animated flower attempted to make contact with the other flower, only to realize the flower on the bush would not or could not respond. Though the flower was upset, the table walked them along to a storefront where they found a table sitting idly. The animated table tried to make contact with the storefront table, but again it was in vain. As both the flower and the table were discouraged by these encounters, the flower noticed the same painting from before on a car only an alley away. The table reared up and sped as fast as it could towards the vehicle, only to trip and fall. The flower ended up breaking its pot and the table was stuck on its backside. The flower dragged itself to the main road to call for help, only to be overlooked and nearly stepped on. The flower came to rest eternally by the table who remained motionless.

As the animated film concluded, the next film began with a story being told by a young New Zealander. She talked about her appreciation for the island, but how she and her family were not Maori, her ancestors are from Spain. She talked about the appreciation she and her family had for their heritage. The young girl told a story of her great grandmother. The tale was of her being born on the voyage to New Zealand, enjoying and loving her heritage, and on a return from a visit from Spain, she died on the voyage in which she was born. As the young girl said - her great grandmother was born and died at sea.

Another animated film came on the screen, this time telling the stories of people’s dreams. All were random manifestations, being told in the form of a single drawing line. Every story appearing to be connected by string.

Unlike the previous films, the plot in the following film was a poem, recounted by women of all walks of life. They talked about discomfort, rape, societal expectations, and how women need to stand up and fight back from now on.

The theme of fighting injustice continued with the next film that revolved around a fishing community. A new fishing group created by women had emerged. The woman in charge was a strict mother and fair ruler. The film began with her lecturing her daughter on completing tasks, or not leaving things to do later. The fisher women then faced a devastating blow when the fish in their enclosures were poisoned by an opposing fisher group. The woman in charge went to seek help from the other community fishermen, but sadly she was denied. Though the fishermen tried to discourage her and the group from fishing, the women banded together to keep the fish safe by keeping watch over the enclosures.

The last movie struk an even harder emotional chord. The film commenced with a teenage daughter coming to help her mother with business (dry c