Eating Up Easter Debuts on PBS, Q&A with Directors TONIGHT

Eating Up Easter is enjoying its national television debut on the PBS television series Independent Lens this week (check your local listings). The film is also now streaming for free for one month on PBS Independent Lens website.  

In the film, native Rapanui (Easter Island) filmmaker Sergio Mata’u Rapu narrates the modern dilemma of his people, descendants of the ancient statue builders, as they face the consequences of their rapidly developing home. Tuesday, May 26th join filmmakers Sergio and Elena Rapu, Mahani Teave from Toki Rapa Nui and United Nations Association of the United States of America to discuss what can be learned from Easter Island/Rapa Nui as we confront similar problems and challenges globally. RSVP for the screening and interactive Q&A.

More than just a picture-perfect postcard of iconic stone statues, Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island, is a microcosm of a planet in flux. Eating Up Easter explores the challenges Rapu's people are facing, and the intergenerational fight to preserve their culture and a beloved environment against a backdrop of a modernizing society and a booming tourism trade. Crafted as a story passed down to his newborn son, Rapu intertwines the authentic history of the island with the stories of four islanders, crafting a moving portrait of a society striving to keep step with the rest of the world while maintaining its own unique identity, and asking the next generation, “what will be left for you?”

Join the conversation about the film with the hashtag #EatingUpEasterPBS. Follow the film on Twitter and Facebook @EatingUpEaster.

RSVP for the screening and interactive Q&A


The iconic statues and sensationalized "mysteries" of Easter Island (Rapa Nui) have drawn the interest of the world for centuries, attracting curious visitors to its shores. Today, this tiny, barren island is experiencing an economic boon as tourism skyrockets. Yet the indigenous culture and the island’s fragile environment are suffering.

Eating Up Easter, directed by native Rapanui filmmaker Sergio Mata’u Rapu, explores the dilemma his people are facing. Crafted as a story passed down to his newborn son, Sergio intertwines the authentic history of the island with the stories of four islanders. In their own voices, these Rapanui reveal the reality of modern life and the actions they are taking to preserve their culture and environment amidst rapid development.

A local ecologist leads recycling efforts to tackle the mounting trash arriving with tourists and the waves of plastic washing up on shore. Two musicians struggle to build a free music school they hope will preserve cultural practices and reunite their fractured community. Sergio's father, formerly the island's first native Governor, attempts to balance traditions against the advantages of development while building a mini-mall in the island’s only town.

Eating Up Easter reveals and suggests ways forward in tackling the universal complexities of balancing growth and sustainability faced by local communities worldwide.