This past June I was promoting the documentary film, Homecoming: A Film About Pukapuka by Gemma Cubero del Barrio on Kickstarter.com. The film successfully raised enough money to transport a film crew to Puka Puka, Cook Islands, and to start filming in August. The film covers topics of climate change, the South Pacific, and the homecoming to two Puka Pukan women, Johnny Frisbie and Amelia Borofsky.
Puka Puka. Photo from the “Homecoming” blog on Kickstarter
Here is a recent update from the Kickstarter blog:
We arrived in Pukapuka—the Holy Grail at last!! After five days at sea, we could not be more grateful to land on coral surrounded by turquoise lagoon. Flying fish heralded our arrival, and later we ate those flying fish at the feast! We’ve enjoyed many feasts, flowers, and singing for a true Pukapukan welcome. At our welcome meeting, everyone expressed wonder at the support we received from all of you from around the world! Pukapukans understand grassroots fundraising because that’s how many buildings get built.
Our fearless director/producer Gemma adapted well and told the community, “this place has so many beautiful strengths from visual beauty to spiritual power. That is what we will capture.” Due to the heat, the whole team woke early to film the golden light. One morning we caught Etwina, who typed Amelia’s father’s field notes, in the taro patch. Everyone here wants to be in the documentary!
Unfortunately, a flu epidemic hit the whole island and the Homecoming crew has also been hit. The intense heat of 100% humidity and ninety degrees also takes its toll. Cinematographer Vicente frequently said, “Pukapuka is not for sissies.” Despite being sick, everyone continues to work hard and capture as much as possible over these next few weeks in Pukapuka. What an intense journey filled with wonder! We wish we had more time here! Still, there is much more to come! On behalf of everyone in Pukapuka—atawai wolo ye maneke kite langi (thank you all the way up to the sky)!
Click here to read the entire blog, as well as past updates with some beautiful photos.