The free community screening is presented by Plastic Oceans as part of the Swim Against Plastic: Easter Island campaign, and in partnership with Kartemquin Films, Pacific Islanders in Communications, Toki Rapa Nui, Municipalidad de Rapa Nui, and Plastic Oceans Chile.
Watch the Trailer
“The last 50 years, my island — my culture — has been used as a cautionary tale of humankind’s ability to destroy our planet. Journalists wrote about the destruction of our island, the death of our people, the demise of a great civilization. But they got it wrong. I made this film so that others would know that the Rapanui people, descendants of those ancient statue carvers, are still very much alive. Through the investigation of a story about food security on Easter Island, I realized that a much more global story was present: one about people trying to survive with limited resources on a tiny planet.
“On our tiny island, we cannot hide the trash that is piling up, and we cannot afford to ignore the limited water that is at risk of being contaminated. My community’s search for answers to our social and environmental problems is really parallel to the balance we are trying to strike globally between development and sustainability. Next week, after seven years spent making this film, I will hop on a plane and travel back to Easter Island to show it to my community. It will be frightening, to show the film in front of 8,000 of my closest critics. But with our success on the festival circuit as well as the upcoming broadcast on Independent Lens, it is empowering to know that the Rapanui story is finally being told and the world is listening."
– Director Sergio M. Rapu in Realscreen.
About the Film
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.
Learn more about the film at eatingupeaster.com.
With a noted tradition of nurturing emerging talent and acting as a leading voice for independent media, Kartemquin is building on more than 50 years of history as Chicago’s documentary powerhouse.
Kartemquin is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. Guidestar
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