An American missionary and his wife travel to the exotic island kingdom of Hawaii, intent on converting the natives. But the clash between the two cultures is too great and instead of understanding there comes tragedy.
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Abner Hale, a rigid and humorless New England missionary, marries the beautiful Jerusha Bromley and takes her to the exotic island kingdom of Hawaii, intent on converting the natives. But the clash between the two cultures is too great and instead of understanding there comes tragedy. Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
i lived in hawaii for two years, and as a part of my standard elementary school curriculum, hawaiian history as taught by actual kapunas was always interesting. i didn't see "hawaii" until about ten years after living there. based on everything i was told while i was there, "hawaii" accurately describes the decimation of islands' tribal system by the onslaught of forced christianity.
if you're "offended as a christian" at this movie, you might want to question the virtues of selling or otherwise pushing a mythology on a society that's already had one for ages. the story of "hawaii" was never intended to be "anti-christian", or "politically correct" anymore than "jay and silent bob" was meant to be politically correct. not to be too glib, but one of the main points, especially with the character hale, is that people should have better priorities about themselves, such as mastering and resolving their own lives, sooner than worrying over, or assuming responsiblity for other people's dogmatic inclinations. this particular point has been made in countless stories since the beginning, but people always miss it because they're too busy doing their best to take the statements as personal attacks, whether against their religions, their lifestyles, or even in these inane days, the color of their socks.
if you're secure in your beliefs as a christian, you should have no reason to be offended as a christian at this or any other story. yes, this story states point blank that christian missionaries did their best to destroy hawaii's native beliefs, traditions, et cetera; and yes, it happened. it's also an accurate history-based depiction of events neither any of you nor i are held responsible. there's nothing that demands a christian viewer needs to have any particular "identity" with hale, or any other figure like him. if you were catholic, would you automatically identify with tomas de torquemada while watching "the pit and the pendulum"? the purpose of these characters is not only to recount history, but also to teach people what not to do, how not to do it, and to some extent, who not to be.
if, as christians, you should come away from this story with only one thought, it should be, "wow, that was unfortunate. i hope something like that doesn't happen again."
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