Liliuokalani – Reflections of Our Queen

Liliuokalani- Reflections of Our Queen
2018, USA Color, English w/ some subtitles.  TRT 77 Min. USA Color

A companion film-viewers guide is available for in classroom use. Essays by various scholars (see Books).

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The Hawaiians – Reflecting Spirit


The Hawaiians – Reflecting Spirit
2006, USA Color, English w/ subtitles for Hawaiian language TRT 58 Min.
2007, USA Color, Japanese language & Japanese subtitles TRT 30 min.

An early version opened at the unveiling of the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C.  Offering important cultural insights into who the Hawaiian are as a peop;e, their origins, historical challenges and current social conditions. The film pays tribute to the spirit of a native people whose identity is intrinsically tied to their Hawaiian lands. Rave review by veteran critic, Army Archerd (Variety), Lee’s film is also covered in the book, “Progressive Hollywood, A People’s Film History of the United States”, by Ed Rampell, who places Edgy alongside leading documentary filmmakers such as Oscar winners Errol Morris (“Fog of War”), Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me”), Robert Greenwald (“Outfoxed”) and Michael Moore (“Farenheit 9/11”). Rampell adds, “a film by Hawaii’s greatest local filmmaker… The Hawaiians is a film of transcendent splendor that defends Native rights and culture.”  Scenes include interviews with a native healer, a Kauai 7th generation salt maker; celestial navigator, Nainoa Thompson, Hawaiian kumu hula and performer, Kealii Reichel; the late Senator Daniel Akaka, and others. Produced and Directed by Edgy Lee, Co-written by M.J. Harden and Edgy Lee, original soundtrack by Robert Wehrman PhD., Director of Photography, Ruben Carillo.                  

A companion film-viewers guide is available for in classroom use. Essays by various scholars (see Books).


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Paniolo O Hawai’i – Cowboys of the Far West

Paniolo O Hawaii – Cowboys of the Far West                                                                                                  2007, USA Color, English TRT 59 Min.

“Lee has illuminated a little known facet of the Old West, Pacific Rim style”, – San Francisco Examiner.

 This award winning feature documentary film redefines our childhood notions of cowboys and indians and the Great American West. In this beautifully crafted movie, the cowboys are the Indians. Hawaii’s Paniolo preceded the American Cowboy but their story remains virtually unheralded in frontier history. The film honors the men and women who learned much of their riding, roping, and saddle making from the great vaqueros of Alta California. Rare footage, clips of “shipping cattle” in the 1920s, Will Rogers at Ulupalakua Ranch, appearances by Maui resident, Willie Nelson, cowboy songsters Kindy Sproat, and Grammy winning composer, Michael Martin Murphey. Awards include the Chicago FIlm Festival (Best Doc – History and Doc Screenplay), CINE Golden Eagle, highest award (Kahili Award) from the State of Hawaii visitor industry, among other national awards. An early version premiered at the long awaited opening of the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of the American Indian.

A companion Warner Reprise soundtrack is available, produced by veteran music producer, Jim Ed Norman and kumu hula, Nani Lim Yap.  Artists include the late great paniolo songster, Kindy Sproat; Michael Martin Murphey, and many others. (see Music).

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Waikiki In the Wake of Dreams

Waikiki – In the Wake of Dreams 2001 USA Color, English TRT 78 Min. Waikiki – In the Wake of Dreams 2001 USA Color, Japanese TRT 78 Min. “Waikiki’s charming past is unfolded through re-enactments, film and TV clips…” – Variety This full-length documentary film chronicles the evolution of a small beachside community from ancient spiritual haven, to playground for Hawaii’s royalty, to the world’s most famous beach and visitor destination. The first comprehensive chronicle of Waikiki’s 500-year history is brought to life with historical photographs and vintage moving footage including some of the first cinematic clips shot by Thomas Edison. Includes rare oral histories by the people who made Waikiki, Waikiki.  Hosted by one of Hawaii’s iconic musicians, Keola Beamer Sr., scenes include special moments with other well known artists including Don Ho, Robert Cazimero, Manu Boyd, Marlene Sai, Mo Keale, beachboys and beach girls who contributed to the attraction of the most famous beach in the world, and dramatized scenes of Princess Kaiulani played by Haumea Heibenstreit (Mrs. Don Ho).             The national premiere was hosted in Washington D.C. at the National Geographic Society. The Hawaii premiere was held on Waikiki beach, under a full moon to an audience of 5,000 viewers, setting the venue for what became Honoulu’s, “Sunset on the Beach” public movie screening venue hosted monthly on Waikiki’s Kuhio Beach. A companion film viewers guide is available (see Books). Order this item >

Hawai’i’s Fire Fighters

Hawaii’s Fire Fighters – 2011 USA Color English TRT 56 mins.

Enjoy this unique tribute to Hawaii’s fire fighters — a group of highly trained men and women, many of whom are native Hawaiian. HFD’s story begins with Alexander Cartwright, Honolulu’s first Fire Chief and father of American baseball, and a little known history ensues. From mid-19th century to present day, the film takes a behind-the-scenes look at the danger and dedication of these courageous men and women. Interviews with old timers, female fire fighters, and spouses shed rare insights into the job and the people.  Narrated by David “Kawika” Lyman. A companion cookbook, “Hawaii’s Fire Fighters’ Favorite Recipes” is available. (see Books).

 “Hawaii’s Fire Fighters Favorite Recipes” is available (see Books).

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Papakolea – A Story of Hawaiian Land

Papakolea – A Story of Hawaiian Land – 1998 USA Color English TRT 56 Min.

Directed and co-written by Edgy Lee, with Emmy Award winning writer, Saul Landau; two-time Academy Award winning cinematographer, Haskell Wexler (Executive Producer for The Institute of Cinema Studies),  the film received the prestigious Corporation for Public Broadcasting Silver Award for Independent Programming, the National Education Silver Apple; the International CINE Golden Eagle; and other awards for writing and directing.

Under constant threat of losing their land to corporate agriculture and federal government control, Native Hawaiians in Papakolea petitioned Congress to protect their land under the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act (1920). Their appeal, initiated by the women of this small squatters community struggled against poverty and racism to win the support of FDR and the U.S. Congress. We meet the elders who made this homestead possible.  They share their incredible story of a 1930s victory and their struggle to maintain their homes to this day.  Their determination to keep their culture alive is told by a few surviving elders and we see the crucial thread that connects events of the past with the political and social conflicts of today’s Native Hawaiians who continue to fight for rights to their homelands. Edited by Sandi Guthrie, Sound design by Kent Gibson, original music composed by Joseph Vitarelli.

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The Levi Report          

The Levi Report – USA Color, English TRT 60 Min.

The Levi Report is a one hour investigative report produced in and about Hawaii by Matt Levi, former Honolulu television journalist turned private investigator; and Edgy Lee, award winning  filmmaker.  The program covers controversial issues of local and national interest such as Internet crimes against children and the theft of native Hawaiian artifacts and the connection to meth trafficking. Hidden cameras take you behind the scenes, in drive alongs with US Marshals, and undercover to witness the capture of two child predators. This film is not for sale but can be made available for educational use.

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Unprescribed – Prescription for Addiction

Unprescribed – Prescription for Addiction – TRT 58 mins. Color English                                                                                                       

This one hour documentary film received a national 2015 Telly Award for its straightforward overview of the burgeoning American epidemic of prescription drug abuse, misuse, and poisoning — the #1 cause of accidental death in America. Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder introduces this compelling film, with appearances by former White House Drug Czar (Director of ONDCP) Michael Botticelli, other national experts in the field of health care, drug intervention, international drug trafficking and law enforcement. Undercover footage courtesy of federal law enforcement, candid interviews with real victims, and real families. Produced in 2015, just ahead of the current attention and national awareness of the opiod epidemic in America.

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ICE – Hawaii’s Crystal Meth Epidemic USA

ICE – Hawaii’s Crystal Meth Epidemic –  Color, English TRT 60 min.

This film reveals how methamphetamine addiction affects the community at large, how addiction is linked directly to increase in violent crime; child abuse, elder and spousal abuse; theft and rising insurance rates, social services, medical costs; and human costs that transcend the financial ruin that meth has had in the State of Hawaii and the nation. Candid interviews with ice addicts, children of addicts, and young mothers in their 20s who have given birth to meth addicted infants,  foster parents who foster children born into meth addiction, they share authentic stories in this very special presentation.  When released, the film was seen in an historical statewide simulcast in Hawaii,  broadcast on all television stations, commercial free, in September 2003.                                                     

A companion film viewers guide is available to encourage use of the film as a teaching tool for educators, community leaders, and families.

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Life or Meth – Hawaii’s Youth

Life or Meth – Hawaii’s Youth – USA Color, English TRT 60 Min.

This one hour sequel to the documentary film “ICE”, was simulcast on all major television stations in the state of Hawaii.  The two films were an example of how media can be harnessed to educate the public and affect change. Mueller & Lee co-produced a series of short drug education and prevention videos used in schools, the work place, and communities where addiction to methamphetamine ranked highest in the nation. Included are unscripted interviews with teenage runaways in Waikiki,  and children who choose a clean and sober life having come from homes where their parents and siblings were addicts. A former Miss Hawaii and other courageous people speak honestly and frankly in this honest portrayal of people fighting the throes of addiction.

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It’s Your Choice

It’s Your Choice – 2007, USA Color, TRT 30 min.

This short drug education and prevention film features teens talking to teens, suitable for in class room viewing. Some students come from families pained by drug addiction, others are determined never to fall into the cycle of abuse that haunts all too many American communities.  Institutional Rates Apply to purchases by libraries, schools, and archives. 

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Elderly Abuse – Breaking the Cycle of Shame

Elderly Abuse – Breaking the Cycle of Shame – USA Color, English TRT 30 Min.

This short film is a collection of interviews with elders who have experienced abuse in their families — all behind closed doors.  This sensitive topic is an issue that is difficult to discuss openly but it remains a growing problem in our communities. Often caused by children or spouses who are substance abusers, the pain and shame of suffering physical and mental abuse can remain an unspoken tragedy. There is fear of retribution and embarrassment, sometimes financial hardship and loss of an elder’s savings or the family home.  Interviews with elders and experts who share general legal and practical advice make this program applicable to any elder living in the United States. Narrated by Frank B. Shaner.

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