Film: Kapu “Sacred Hawaiian Burials”
Film Type: Documentary “Pacific Islander”
Total running time: 2 hours
Year completed: 2022
Producer: Keoni Alvarez, Aileen Alvarez and Pacific Islanders in Communications
Director and Editor: Keoni Kealoha Alvarez
RR3 BOX 1043
Pahoa HI, 96778
Kapu “Sacred Hawaiian Burials” is about a indigenous Hawaiian man who discovers his path through the discovery of a hidden ancient Hawaiian burial cave.
Over twenty years ago, a native Hawaiian named Keoni Kealoha Alvarez found his calling when he stumbled upon a secret cave in the forest near his ancestral home of Puna on Hawai‘i Island. Inside this cave were iwi, the sacred bones of Kānaka maoli from generations past. At only eight years old, Keoni could not begin to imagine how this discovery would change his life.
In 2002, Keoni’s district became the target for developers who sought affordable property on the island. Faced with a powerful, wealthy outsider who threatened to plow through the cave near his home, Keoni found himself in his own David vs. Goliath scenario. KAPU “Sacred Hawaiian Burials” will take viewers along Keoni’s journey in realizing his identity, heritage, and ultimately his legacy within the tradition of protecting his land for his people. Until Keoni knows what will happen to the property, he will remain the keeper of this cave to prevent this burial ground from going under.