VAKARAITAKA

A film by Fenton Lutunatabua

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The recent swells of climate activism in the Pacific are inherently linked with the deep connections of past and future generations. Rising up to physical and existential struggles requires tapping into ancestral wisdom that can further strengthen our existing bonds with one another.  In this four-part cinematic poem, Fijian storyteller Fenton Lutunatabua utilizes landscape, dance and language to call people into this work, as well as offering a balm to the losses faced. The first poem Tinaqu speaks to the efforts of maternal ancestors who guide decolonial ways of being. The second poem Matagi Mālohi is one that has already become an anthem of young Pacific Islanders channelling their energy for climate justice. Kawa then calls people into their role as future ancestors, and the mantle they can take up. The final poem, Luvequ explores how we hold hope, grief and resilience in this life as part of a legacy of survival. Lutunatabua wrote each of the poems, and he is also the director and producer. This is his first film. Vakaraitaka also features the creative prowess of the dance group Wehi, and costumes by the fashion designer Epeli Tuibeqa. The whole production team is Fijian. Filmed at a diversity of locations in Fiji - from the highlands to the beaches, the land also plays a pivotal character in grounding the work.

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