A man and women in stand outside talking to a police officer

2022 | Trailer 1 MIN.

Pili Ka Moʻo

Justyn Ah Chong and Malia Akutagawa (Kanaka Maoli)

The Fukumitsu ʻOhana (family) of Hakipuʻu are Native Hawaiian taro farmers and keepers of this generational practice. While much of Oʻahu has become urbanized, Hakipuʻu remains a kīpuka (oasis) of traditional knowledge where great chiefs once resided and their bones still remain. The Fukumitsus are tossed into a world of complex real estate and judicial proceedings when nearby Kualoa Ranch, a large settler-owned corporation, destroys their familial burials to make way for continued development plans.

Critical acclaim for this film

Official Durango Independent  2022 Film Festival Laurel
Official Big Sky 2022 film festival laurel
Official Hawaii 2021 Film festival laurel
Offical Skabmagovat 2022 film festival laurel
Official Cartagena International Film Festival 2022 Laurel
Official 2022 Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital Laurel
Official Selection Independent Film Festival Boston 2022 Laurel
Official Selection Seattle International Film Festival 2022 Laurel
Official Selection Riverside International Film Festival 2022 Laurel
Official Selection Mountainfilm 2022 Laurel
Official Selection deadCenter film festival 2022
Official Selection CAAMfest 2022
Māoriland Film Festival Official Selection 2022
Official Selection 2022 NW Folklife Film Forum
Wairoa Māori Film Festival

“To unearth our kupuna in the ground is like the final eviction,” a quote from the film, lingers in my mind as a fellow Native Hawaiian. It is a reminder that the spiritual war featured in PILI KA MO`O clearly ties back to the Colonization of Hawai’i and the dark side of Capitalism.

– Ciara Lacy


Downloadable Assets


Behind the scenes

Four people stand on a hillside looking outward over threes and water

Fukumitsu ‘ohana overlook the land

A man stands in looking up towards a mountain in the fog

Kalo farmer Kolea Fukumitsu works the loʻi on generational family land.

A cameraman records a man folding a large leaf into a package

Kolea Fukumitsu prepares a Hoʻokupu (gift offering) on camera

A man and women smile at camera while outside making a the Mahalo hand gesture

Portrait of Native Hawaiian Reciprocity Project collaborators Malia Akutagawa and Justyn Ah Chong at Hakipuʻu, Oʻahu

A cameraman films a man showing a plant root standing in knee deep water

Kolea Fukumitsu shows a harvested kalo to the camera.

A man in black shirt holds plants and flowers, wrapped in a large leaf

A Hoʻokupu (gift offering) beautifully prepared with intention and prayer