Coming to virtual theatrical today, Wednesday, April 22, in commemoration of Earth Day:
EATING UP EASTER
Sergio Mata’u Rapu
Los Angeles Asian Pacific, NY Asian American, CAAMFest, Martha’s Vineyard, Global Peace, Margaret Mead, St Louis, Wild & Scenic, Minneapolis-St Paul, Washington DC Environmental,
A personal examination of the deleterious impact of globalization and tourism on Easter Island.
To the outside world, Rapa Nui is known as Easter Island, famed for its stone statues, which have attracted curiosity and inspired outlandish theories of extraterrestrial or supernatural origins. In addition, they have drawn an increasing stream of visitors, making tourism a leading economic driver for the island, officially part of Chile. Unfortunately, as revealed in native Rapanui filmmaker Sergio Mata’u Rapu’s project, these tourists have brought with them an unsustainable amount of waste, taxing the resources of Rapa Nui and degrading its environment. Composed as a story to his infant son, Rapu’s film profiles several islanders who respond to the issues of development and sustainability, including a woman who focuses on recycling efforts, a couple who are attempting to preserve local cultural through the construction of a music school, and the filmmaker’s own father, a real estate developer. Unfortunately, Rapu struggles to balance these disparate threads, losing the environmental focus at times, and sacrifices a sense of urgency with an approach that, while thoughtful, feels too personal to be particularly impactful to the viewer.