Ke Kulana He Mahu: Remembering a Sense of Place | Chicago Reader

Ke Kulana He Mahu: Remembering a Sense of Place

Our contemporary political struggle over gay marriage supplies the framework for this engrossing 2001 documentary about the acceptance of homosexuality in native Hawaiian culture. Directors Kathryn Xian and Brent Anbe piece together interviews with historians and gay and trans activists to show that the Hawaiians' communal society included neither the nuclear family nor European sexual morality. In the 19th century tribal chieftains adopted Western law, a failed attempt to protect the country from colonization, but before that most children were raised in extended families and many chiefs had male lovers; the Hawaiian word for gay sex also means “safe sex,” because it precludes conception. 67 min.

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