Nearly a lifetime has passed for three sisters who were born on the Hawi Sugar Plantation on the Big Island. Now in their 80s and 90s, they reflect on a tragic event that occurred decades ago, in 1942. They were so young and the incident so tragic. Silence built up around the event, and with the necessity to move on, vividness faded. Some fragments remained and some were lost.
A SMALL LIFE is a reflective journey, leaving the viewer to actively participate in piecing together its parts. The story unfolds through a range of engaging interviews. Although the crux of the story is devastating, the journey is lively with humor, thoughtfulness, and warmth. The film builds an outcome, not through a collection of historical images and facts, but through the imagined thoughts of a community and the voices of the sisters. Each sister's remembering is intensified through the layering of other stories.
The shots of the sisters are long and beautiful studies. Throughout the film, the observant, intimate camera and a lingering pace call attention to the passage of time and beauty in listening. Time has a significant presence in the work. After all, it is what shadows us and eventually, what we run out of.
This film will be preceded by shorts IM/PERFECTION and OCCASIONALLY, I SAW GLIMPSES OF HAWAII.