Anne Keala Kelly has an excellent column up about Disney’s Moana, and the Thanksgiving release date. A brief excerpt:
…If the promotional trailer is anything like the film, Disney’s about to get even richer by exploiting and mocking us in deeply genealogical and spiritual ways—turning Tutu Pele into an ugly lava monster and Maui into a ridiculous, clowning sidekick. The noted psychiatrist, philosopher, revolutionary and writer Frantz Fanon was so on the mark when he said, “…Colonialism is not satisfied merely with holding a people in its grip and emptying the native’s brain of all form and content. By a kind of perverted logic, it turns to the past of the oppressed people, and distorts, disfigures, and destroys it.”
Disney has reduced us and our world to a cartoon at a time when our political future is hanging in the balance, when Hawaiians absolutely need to be heard and taken seriously, not distracted by or silenced for entertainment. Disney is trying to do to our culture and identity what America is doing to our land and nationhood: we are being carved up, sold off, and drained of our mana.
Since the Maui-Skin-Suit debacle, Disney’s 21st century iteration of the white supremacist ideology that informed people like British Major General Horatio Gordon Robley, a proud collector of Maori heads, and the guy who tried to sell a Hawaiian kupuna skull on eBay, I’ve been thinking in metaphors. I’m looking at what’s happening right now, but looking, too, at the horizon, at what’s coming toward us, imagining what might follow, hoping that whatever it is Hawaiians and all Pacific Islanders can face it together instead of letting it further divide us.
I have no doubt that Disney’s “Moana” will materially and psychologically aid and abet the colonial project of Indigenous erasure and removal. …
Anne Keala Kelly is the Native Hawaiian award-winning filmmaker of “Noho Hewa: The Wrongful Occupation of Hawai’i. She is also a journalist whose work has appeared in The Nation and on Pacifica Network and Al Jazeera. www.annekealakelly.com www.nohohewa.com
The full article is at ICTMN.