Eddie Kamae

PBS Hawai‘i to showcase films of Eddie and Myrna Kamae on air and online

The Hawaiian Legacy Foundation, PBS Hawai‘i

 

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The Films of Eddie and Myrna Kamae, From the HeartHONOLULU, HI – PBS Hawai‘i is partnering with the Hawaiian Legacy Foundation to present a televised and online film festival, The Films of Eddie and Myrna Kamae, From the Heart. This showcase will feature all 10 award-winning documentaries in Eddie and Myrna Kamae’s Hawaiian Legacy Series, released between 1988 and 2007.

 

The showcase airs on primetime television over three nights starting Thursday, April 6, and concludes the afternoon of Sunday, April 9 on PBS Hawai‘i. The films will also be live streamed on pbshawaii.org/kamaefilms.

 

The broadcast presentation will be followed by a weeklong online showcase, in which all 10 films will be available to view at pbshawaii.org/kamaefilms April 10-17.

 

Below: Broadcast and live stream schedule

 

Eddie Kamae, who passed away in January at age 89, was a man of many talents. A venerable musician, vocalist and songwriter who helped usher in the Hawaiian Cultural Renaissance of the 1970s, Eddie became a filmmaker, dedicated to documenting Hawai‘i’s cultural treasures for future generations. He and his wife Myrna established a nonprofit, Hawaiian Legacy Foundation, which aims to perpetuate Hawai‘i’s cultural heritage.

 

“Eddie and I dedicated our energy to the films we created together and as they were released, we enjoyed the success each and every one of them achieved on every level,” said Myrna Kamae. “PBS Hawai‘i takes the lead in cultural programing and embraces this timeless material. I can hear Eddie saying ‘Ho‘omau, Ho‘omau,’ and thanks to PBS Hawai‘i, we continue to provide a window into a time and place that many people have yet to discover.”

 

The film festival celebrates the Kamaes as visionary cinematic storytellers who understood the value and urgency in preserving Hawai‘i’s cultural traditions. PBS Hawai‘i President and CEO Leslie Wilcox hosts the broadcast television presentation.

 

“We see Eddie and Myrna Kamae as film warriors, exploring the past and discovering the future,” Wilcox said. “They are timeless figures who will always be regarded as forward-thinking. What they did over many years took a lot of heart – discipline, tenacity, resilience, trust-building, continuous learning and enduring love of Hawaiian culture. We at PBS Hawai‘i are pleased to partner with the Hawaiian Legacy Foundation to present these 10 Kamae films, featuring special people and stories that profoundly enrich our understanding and our lives.”

 

PBS Hawai‘i’s broadcast and online live stream schedule is as follows:

 

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Thursday, April 6, 8-10 pm 

LIA: The Legacy of a Hawaiian Man (1988)

This award-winning documentary celebrates the music and spirit of Sam Li‘a Kalainaina, a performer and composer shaped by his home in remote Waipi‘o Valley on Hawai‘i Island.

 

THOSE WHO CAME BEFORE: The Musical Journey of Eddie Kamae (2009)

The Kamae’s final documentary recounts Eddie’s own journey of musical self-discovery, a journey that led him to some of the most well respected gatekeepers of the Hawaiian Renaissance and grew into a 50-year pursuit of Hawaiian cultural and musical traditions.

 

Friday, April 7, 8-10:30 pm 

LAHAINA: Waves of Change (2007)

In 1999, Lahaina’s plantation era came to an end with the closing of the West Maui town’s Pioneer Mill, the beating heart of Lahaina’s sugar industry. This film documents the last harvest, the last cane burning and the final days of operation at the mill, revealing a town with great historical and sacred significance, and the persistence to thrive into the future.

 

THE HISTORY OF THE SONS OF HAWAII (2000)

Surveying 40 years of Hawai‘i’s rich musical traditions, this film tells the story of the Sons of Hawai‘i, the music group led by Eddie Kamae that helped launch the Hawaiian Cultural Renaissance in the 1970s.

 

Saturday, April 8, 7-9 pm 

KI HO‘ALU SLACK KEY: The Hawaiian Way (1993)

Candid interviews, archival images and music from virtuoso performers tell the story of Hawaiian slack key. It depicts how this unique style of playing has become fundamental to Hawai‘i’s musical, cultural and familial traditions.

 

LUTHER KAHEKILI MAKEKAU: A One Kine Hawaiian Man (1997)

Winner of the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Hawaii International Film Festival, this film constructs a rich portrait of a colorful and controversial Hawaiian man. Born on Maui in 1890 during the reign of King Kalākaua, Luther Makekau was part philosopher and part outlaw, a chanter, singer and poet, as well as a fighter and a cattle rustler, known throughout the islands for both his passion and his rebellious nature.

 

Sunday, April 9, 12-4 pm 

LISTEN TO THE FOREST (1991)

An environmental documentary that traces the destruction of Hawai‘i’s rainforests, this film calls for preservation and a return to the ecological wisdom that guided traditional Hawaiians’ connection to the land.

 

HAWAIIAN VOICES: Bridging Past to Present (1998)

This documentary honors the role of kupuna in preserving Hawaiian culture, and taps into the valuable memories and perspectives of three respected Hawaiian elders whose lives bridged the transition from older times into the late 20th century.

 

WORDS, EARTH & ALOHA: The Source of Hawaiian Music (1995)

Featuring some of Hawai‘i’s most respected cultural resources and talented performers, this documentary pays tribute to composers who flourished between the 1870s and the 1920s. The film looks closely at Hawaiian lyrics and the places that inspired them, and charts the evolution of Hawaiian music with the introduction of imported musical forms.

 

KEEPERS OF THE FLAME: The Cultural Legacy of Three Hawaiian Women (2005)

The lives of three extraordinary Hawaiian women, Mary Kawena Pukui, ‘Iolani Luahine and Edith Kanaka‘ole, are chronicled in this film. It shows how together, they combined their talents and commitment to reignite the flame of tradition in a time when Hawaiian culture was gravely threatened.

 


PBS Hawai‘i is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization and Hawai‘i’s sole member of the trusted Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). We advance learning and discovery through storytelling that profoundly touches people’s lives. We bring the world to Hawai‘i and Hawai‘i to the world. pbshawaii.org | facebook.com/pbshawaii | @pbshawaii

 

The Films of Eddie & Myrna Kamae
From the Heart

A co-presentation of PBS Hawai‘i and the Hawaiian Legacy Foundation

 

PBS Hawai‘i TV broadcast and online live stream: April 6-9

Films will be live streamed above. Scroll down for the broadcast schedule.

Films will also be available on this page for on-demand viewing April 10-17.

 

The late Eddie Kamae was a Renaissance man. Known for his vast musical contributions, he was also a filmmaker dedicated to documenting Hawai‘i’s cultural treasures for future generations. With his wife Myrna as producer, they sought to capture and uplift the voices of Hawai‘i’s legacies. They eventually founded a nonprofit, Hawaiian Legacy Foundation, which aims to perpetuate the cultural heritage of Hawai‘i.

 

PBS Hawai‘i is proud to partner with the Hawaiian Legacy Foundation in presenting The Films of Eddie and Myrna Kamae, From the Heart. Hosted by PBS Hawai‘i President and CEO Leslie Wilcox, the televised and online film festival will showcase the ten award-winning documentaries in The Hawaiian Legacy Series, released between 1988 and 2007. This is a celebration of the Kamaes as visionary cinematic storytellers who understood the value and urgency in preserving Hawai‘i’s cultural traditions.

 

Myrna and Eddie Kamae Film Festival

 

Two films airing Thursday, April 6, 8-10 pm:

Liʻa: Legacy of a Hawaiian Man

Liʻa: The Legacy of a Hawaiian Man

(1988)

This award-winning documentary celebrates the music and spirit of Sam Li‘a Kalainaina, a performer and composer shaped by his home in remote Waipi‘o Valley on Hawai‘i Island.

 

Those Who Came Before
: The Musical Journey of Eddie Kamae

Those Who Came Before: The Musical Journey of Eddie Kamae

(2009)

The Kamae’s final documentary recounts Eddie’s own journey of musical self-discovery, a journey that led him to some of the most well respected gatekeepers of the Hawaiian Renaissance and grew into a 50-year pursuit of Hawaiian cultural and musical traditions.

 

 

Two films airing Friday, April 7, 8-10:30 pm

Lahaina: 
Waves of Change

Lahaina: Waves of Change

(2007)

In 1999, Lahaina’s plantation era came to an end with the closing of the West Maui town’s Pioneer Mill, the beating heart of Lahaina’s sugar industry. This film documents the last harvest, the last cane burning and the final days of operation at the mill, revealing a town with great historical and sacred significance, as well as the persistence to thrive into the future.

 

The History of the Sons of Hawai‘i

The History of the Sons of Hawaii

(2000)

Surveying 40 years of Hawai‘i’s rich musical traditions, this film tells the story of the Sons of Hawai‘i, the music group led by Eddie Kamae that helped launch the Hawaiian cultural renaissance.

 

 

Two films airing Saturday, April 8, 7-9 pm:

Kī hōʻalu Slack Key: The Hawaiian Way

Kī Hōʻalu: Slack Key, The Hawaiian Way

(1993)

A collection of candid interviews and archival images, combined with the music of an array of virtuoso performers, this film tells the story of Hawaiian slack key. It depicts how this unique style of playing has become fundamental to Hawai‘i’s musical, cultural and familial traditions.

 

Luther Kahekili Makekau: A One Kine Hawaiian Man

Luther Kahekili Makekau: A One Kine Hawaiian Man

(1997)

Winner of the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Hawaii International Film Festival, this film constructs a rich portrait of a colorful and controversial Hawaiian man. Born on Maui in 1890 during the reign of King Kalākaua, Luther Makekau was part philosopher and part outlaw, a chanter, singer and poet, as well as a fighter and a cattle rustler, known throughout the islands for both his passion and his rebellious nature.

 

 

Four films airing Sunday, April 9, 12-4 pm:

Listen to the Forest

Listen to the Forest

(1991)

An environmental documentary that traces the destruction of Hawai‘i’s rainforests, this film calls for preservation and a return to the ecological wisdom that guided traditional Hawaiians’ connection to the land.

 

HAWAIIAN VOICES
: Bridging Past to Present

Hawaiian Voices: Bridging Past to Present

(1998)

This documentary honors the role of kupuna in preserving Hawaiian culture, and taps into the valuable memories and perspectives of three respected Hawaiian elders whose lives bridged the transition from older times into the late 20th century.

 

WORDS, EARTH & ALOHA: The Source of Hawaiian Music

Words, Earth & Aloha: The Source of Hawaiian Music

(1995)

Featuring some of Hawai‘i’s most respected cultural resources and talented performers, this documentary pays tribute to composers who flourished between the 1870s and the 1920s. The film looks closely at Hawaiian lyrics and the places that inspired them, and charts the evolution of Hawaiian music with the introduction of imported musical forms.

 

KEEPERS OF THE FLAME: The Cultural Legacy of Three Hawaiian Women

Keepers of the Flame: The Cultural Legacy of Three Hawaiian Women

(2005)

The lives of three extraordinary Hawaiian women, Mary Kawena Pukui, ‘Iolani Luahine and Edith Kanaka‘ole, are chronicled in this film. It shows how together, they combined their talents and commitment to reignite the flame of tradition in a time when Hawaiian culture was gravely threatened.

 


 

Those Who Came Before:

The Musical Journey of Eddie Kamae

THOSE WHO CAME BEFORE
: The Musical Journey of Eddie Kamae

 

Those Who Came Before tells the story of a young Hawaiian ʻukulele virtuosoʻs journey of musical self-discovery and how it turned into a 50-year pursuit of Hawaiian cultural and musical traditions.

 

The documentary pays tribute to the music of Hawaiians whose gifts of knowledge helped guide Eddie Kamae. His pursuit led him to some of the most respected gatekeepers of the Hawaiian Renaissance: the great author and translator Mary Kawena Pukui, the “Songwriter of Waipiʻo” Sam Liʻa, “Aloha Chant” author Pilahi Paki, and Hawaiian cultural resource Lilia “Mama” Hale. One by one, they entrusted him with key pieces of Hawaiʻi’s musical heritage – inspiring him to understand, perform, and pass that heritage on to the children of Hawaiʻi.

 

Those Who Came Before: The Musical Journey of Eddie Kamae is the 10th documentary from Eddie and Myrna Kamae’s celebrated and multiple award-winning Hawaiian Legacy Series.

 

Source: hawaiianlegacyfoundation.org

 

Lahaina: Waves of Change

LAHAINA: 
Waves of Change

 

In 1999, Hawaiian music legend and documentary filmmaker Eddie Kamae visited the West Maui town of Lahaina, only to find that Pioneer Mill, the center of Lahaina’s sugar industry. was closing down. Eddie knew that this signaled the end of Lahaina’s plantation era. a simpler, more innocent time that he remembered fondly from the childhood summers he spent in the area visiting his grandmother. He knew that a change as momentous as this needed to be documented so he filmed the last harvest, the last cane burning, and the final days of operation at Pioneer Mill. The time Eddie spent in this old Maui town also revealed many treasures from the past, both historical and personal. This documentary is dedicated to Shigesh and Sue Wakida, whose love for the children and Lahaina live on.

 

“This story is told in an intimate, highly personal style that is the hallmark of all Eddie Kamae’s films”
– Mark Vleth, Lahaina News

 

Source: hawaiianlegacyfoundation.org

 

Hawaiian Voices:

Bridging Past to Present

HAWAIIAN VOICES: 
Bridging Past to Present

 

This award winning, one-hour documentary pays tribute to the role of the kupuna (elders) in preserving Hawaiian culture. It focuses on the legacies of three respected Hawaiian elders whose lives bridged the transition from older times into the late 20th century. They are Ruth Kaholoaʻa, age 93, of the Big Island; Lilia Wahinemakaʻi Hale, age 85, of Oʻahu and Molokaʻi; and Reverend David “Kawika” Kaʻalakea, age 78, of Maui.

 

A special emphasis in the documentary is the power of the Hawaiian language as a key to cultural connectedness and continuity. Each of these kupuna speaks Hawaiian fluently, as it was once learned within their families. Each is a living archive of invaluable lore and recollection, a treasure whose stories, memories and perspectives need to be shared as a way of bringing the healing wisdom of the past into the often-fragmented world of the present.

 

“The films of Eddie Kamae are like no other. His only subject is his subject, not a demonstration of style. Direct, heartfelt, unfettered, pure, Kamae’s effect is one of wry precision.”
– Dave Donnelly, Honolulu Star-Bulletin

 

Source: hawaiianlegacyfoundation.org

 

Words, Earth & Aloha:
The Source of Hawaiian Music

WORDS, EARTH & ALOHA: The Source of Hawaiian Music

 

In Hawaiʻi, music has always been much more than a form of entertainment; it has been a key to Hawaiian culture. This one-hour documentary explores the sources of a complex tradition, from early chants and 19th century gospel influences, to the work of composers who flourished between the 1870s and the 1920s, for whom Hawaiian was still a first language. This film pays tribute to the poetry and play of their lyrics, as well as the places and features of nature which inspired songs still loved and played today.

 

This is the fourth film in Eddie and Myrna Kamae’s highly acclaimed Hawaiian Legacy Series. It features some of Hawaiʻi’s most respected cultural resources and talented performers. Among them: Pualani Kanakaʻole Kanahele, Lydia “Mama” Hale, Andy Commings, Clyde “Kindy” Sproat, Helena Maka Santos, Sheldeen Halemau, Gary Halemau, Aaron Mahi, Rev. Dennis Kamakahi and “Braddah Smitty” Hoapili Smith.

 

“A fascinating cultural story of Hawaiʻi from the 1870s to the 1920s, as seen through the development of a distinctly Hawaiian style of music. It charts the melding of imported musical forms with the indigenous chants of the native Hawaiians, and shows the continuous inspiration of the natural beauty of the islands.”
– Rita De Silva, The Garden Island

 

Source: hawaiianlegacyfoundation.org

 

Kī Hōʻalu: Slack Key, The Hawaiian Way

KĪ HŌʻALU SLACK KEY: The Hawaiian Way

 

This film is a moving journey into the beauty and meaning of Hawaiian slack key music. Director Eddie Kamae’s rare combination of master musician and cinematic storyteller is the key to showing how Hawaiʻi’s cultural traditions and the ki hoʻalu guitar intertwine, and opening the door to a greater love of that music.

 

Candid interviews and archival images combine with the music of many virtuoso performers, from the legendary Fred Punahou and Gabby Pahinui to Raymond Kane and today’s Ledward Kaapana, to tell the slack key story from the 1830s to the present. It shows you how this music perpetuates family tradition as songs, techniques and special string tunings are passed from one generation to the next.

 

All the main islands are visited, including seldom-seen Niʻihau, as Eddie Kamae explores this kind of Hawaiian music and its links with the people and places that have nourished it.

 

“A beloved document with candid interviews, virtuoso performances, impromptu dances, and some archival footage that tells, like never before, the precious story of slack key, from the early 19th century to the present.”
– Wayne Harada, Honolulu Advertiser

 

Source: hawaiianlegacyfoundation.org

 

Liʻa: The Legacy of a Hawaiian Man

LIʻA Legacy of a Hawaiian Man

 

Sam Liʻa was a Hawaiian song composer who spent his life in the remote valley of Waipiʻo on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi. There he perpetuated the tradition of celebrating the beauty of one’s place and memorializing the events of its people. Among the musicians inspired by Sam Liʻa is Eddie Kamae, a major force in the revival of Hawaiian music. In this film, he translated his gratitude and love for Liʻa into a visual song, in which music, place and people find their original harmony.

 

“Imparts a deep sense of the traditional Hawaiian balance between the people, their music and the land.”
– Diane Mark, Cinevue, New York

 

Source: hawaiianlegacyfoundation.org

 

PBS HAWAI‘I PRESENTS
Ohta-san: Virtuosity and Legacy

 

Jessie Kalima. Lyle Ritz. Eddie Kamae. Herb Ohta. In the 50s, 60s and 70s, these giants of the ukulele snatched the simple four-stringed instrument away from the background and planted it firmly at the front of the stage. In this special, Herb Ohta, known as Ohta-San, brings his solo ukulele riffs to the PBS Hawaii studios, playing numbers such as “Rhapsody in Blue,” “The Girl from Ipanema,” and his chart-topping ballad, “Song for Anna.” He also teams up with his son, Herb Ohta Jr., for their take on the Hawaiian classics “Hi’ilawe” and “Sanoe.”