Beyond Wailea - Maui Bassed Feature Film
Genre: Hawai'ian/Legal Drama Logline: A 19th Century Naval Chaplain, who resisted the US takeover of Hawai'i, is reincarnated as a contemporary attorney who is confronted with the same dark energies that originally overthrew the Kingdom of Hawai'i, as he fights against unscrupulous developers to preserve a Hawai'ian family's ownership of land .
Based On A True Story From The Island Of Maui.
By J. D'Alba
Knowing of the plight of the Hawaiian culture and the impeding challenge her people are facing with the continued loss of their land that is vital to their existence, a elderly Hawaiian Kapuna summons her family's amakua, the shark, to compel the return of a nineteenth century American Naval Chaplain to aid her people. The naval Chaplain, who has been reincarnated as a contemporary attorney in the midst of a blossoming legal career, finds his life turned upside down when his fiancée finds him in a compromising interlude with his secretary. In his emotionally distraught state he seeks comfort in a French Canadian paramour only to find his plans thwarted by a winter blizzard that strikes Montreal. At the airport he learns that Montreal is inaccessible and the announcement of the final boarding call of a flight to Maui instills in him a sense of déjà vu that compels him to the island of Maui. Upon landing in Maui he checks into a posh hotel in Wailea, Maui's most upscale resort area when he expresses a desire to the hotel concierge for a memorable experience of the island. The concierge arranges a hang gliding expedition for him from the summit of Haleakala volcano and along the scenically spectacular north shore of Maui's coast. His awareness of this island's incredible beauty compels him to explore Maui's north shore. As he is photographing the coastline a rogue wave sweeps him into the ocean sending him into a panic to survive. During this struggle he experiences inexplicable thoughts of his past life as the Chaplain, as the Chaplain is bound and gagged on a naval freighter. During his near drowning he is approached by the shark who, unbeknownst to the attorney, thrusts him onto the safety of the reef only after the shark bequeaths upon his neck the revered Hawaiian malie lei. The attorney's struggle against near downing, his encounter with the shark, and his being thrust from the water is witnessed by a Hawaiian elder and his grandson who come to his aid and assist him back to health in the company of their ohana (family). The attorney finds himself living in their incredible valley and becomes enamored not only with these beautiful people, their culture, and their way of life, but also with the elder Hawaiian's niece, Moana, with whom he begins a wondrous love affair. Their affair only heightens his appreciation of the beautiful essence of the Hawaiian culture, their social graces, spiritualism, love, gratitude, knowledge, unique philosophical perspectives, and their essential, inextricable bond with the land. During breakfast one morning Moana reads that an Auntie, deceased decades earlier, is being sued in an action to quiet title to land of which neither Moana nor anyone else in the ohana has any knowledge. The attorney investigates the basis of this legal action, intercedes on behalf of the family, and learns of the tragic history of Hawaii and how the United States of America illegally acquired the once sovereign Kingdom of Hawai'i. He is lost however to explain the connection between the land that is the subject of the lawsuit and the family that has rescued him until he meets the matriarch of the family, Tutu Helen, who unequivocally informs him: "Smythe stole the land!" Knowing the veracity of Tutu Helen's statement he is left with the daunting task of proving this fact in a court of law only to learn firsthand of the unjust treatment of Hawaiians in the American system of justice, and the incredible lengths the powers that be will go to suppress anyone who attempts to help them rectify this injustice. This challenge presents the attorney with utter, hopeless frustration until he is mystically returned to nineteenth century Hawaii that is in the midst of being overthrown by a conspiracy initiated by the American government with the aid of the US naval and marine forces. There, as the naval Chaplain, he witnesses the planned efforts to acquire this paradise from its rightful owners only to find himself bound and gagged on a ship, being keelhauled for his refusal to aid in the unscrupulous conspiracy to overthrow the Kingdom of Hawaii, and steal the land. With the knowledge he gains from reliving his prior life experience he again is back in court only to find he is without concrete evidence to sustain what he knows to be true. Tutu Helen then directs him to the graves of her ancestors that are situated on property now 'owned' by the aging officer of Hawaii's largest corporate entity, a Hawaiian Sugar Company, and whose son, knowing of this outside Attorney's efforts to expose the century old fraud that enabled his father's corporation to rise to its status as Hawaii's premiere corporate entity, is determined to stop the attorney by any means. Despite the grave threat to their lives, the Attorney and his lover, Moana, sneak unto the lands of the corporation's leader where they discover the bodily remains of Moana's ancestors exposed on the eroding cliff along the ocean. Removing a tooth from the skull of one the ancestors, the attorney uses it to prove the family's ownership of the land. The Judge is dumbfounded by the Catch-22 he now finds himself in. His dilemma, either refuse to accept the inescapable conclusion that this land is indeed still rightfully owned by this Hawaiian family, and allow these lands to remain held by the sugar company and permit the developers to acquire the land which they seek to quiet title to, or deny the developers lawsuit and return all the land, some two thousand plus acres, to the heirs of the nineteenth century Hawaiians from which it was fraudulently acquired. In the end Tutu Helen appears near death as the attorney tells her of the Judges decision. The Judge refused to jeopardize his career by perpetuating a fraud that has existed for over a century and he not only denied the attempt by the developers to take the parcels of land they seek but also he returned the two thousand acres of land to this Hawaiian family. The attorney is overcome with distress, as Tutu Helen seems to gasp her last breath of life after learning of the decision. Surrounded by members of her ohana whose emotions over her loss are evident, Tutu Helen stuns them all as she opens her eyes and proclaims. "They said I was dead, but I still live." The final scene of the movie depicts the mansion once owned by the head of the Sugar Company being bulldozed to the ground and dozens of Hawaiians working to restore the land by planting trees, flowers, and gardens where the mansion once stood. As this scene concludes the movie fades along with the hauntingly beautiful voice of Hawaiian legendary musician Israel Kamakawiwo'ole:Cry for the gods,Cry for the people.Cry for the land that was taken away.And then yet you'll find.Hawai'i.Ua mau Ke Ea Oka Aina Ika Pono O Hawai'i.(The life of the land of Hawaii is preserved in righteousness.)