Rose Khor


In Your Hawaiian Way

2009. Digital video, color, sound
Entire: 28:07 min. Preview: 2:41 min.

The experimental documentary “In Your Hawaiian Way,” directed by Rose Khor, embarks on a journey of discovery of the Mormon religion and its influence on Hawaiian culture. We are guided through a Polynesian “living museum” filled with cultural artifacts and “native” performers, a ukulele class learning pop Hawaiian melodies, and a tour through the Mormon Temple led by missionaries from Australia and China. Through candid interviews, the complex identities of the people living in Laie, Hawaii are revealed. Terry, the ukulele instructor, describes his relationship with Mormonism, indigenous rights, and colonialism. Kale describes the brutal colonial imposition of English language onto the Hawaiian people. Later, he tells about his family’s enlightened conversion into Mormonism. Sister Feng reveals her atheistic upbringing and the opportunities the Church provided for her to come to the U.S. to study. These testimonies unveil Mormonism as a global religion with members who face contemporary secular realities. In portraying this unique narrative, “In Your Hawaiian Way” expands our understanding of the lives of Hawaiians. And how it is that people negotiate complex cultural, indigenous, and religious histories.