There is a wonderful documentary to be done about hula dancing, that sexy, feminine, macho, ancient, modern, thoroughly captivating and expressive form of dance that celebrates the culture and land of Hawaii.
Alas, tonight's "P.O.V." installment, "American Aloha: Hula Beyond Hawaii," is not it.
Filmmakers Lisette Marie Flanary and Evann Siebens have followed three hula teachers in California as they instruct Hawaiian transplants and curious mainlanders. The thesis is that hula is undergoing a renaissance as part of a resurgence in
Hawaiian nationalism and an upswell of homesickness among Hawaiians who can no longer afford to live in their homeland.
Hula, "American Aloha" seems to argue, is the glue that helps Hawaiians retain their island identity even while living on the mainland.
Maybe so, maybe not, and even if so, is that interesting or unique? Ask any Californian who has attended an Oktoberfest, Tet celebration or dragon boat festival -- immigrants from everywhere add their art forms, holidays and festivals to the cultural supermarket that is the Golden State.