Pacific Heartbeat: New Season Explores Cultural Connection in the Pacific Islander Community


Four new films showcase the strength of family and culture when facing life's challenges.

Through intimate narratives of diverse people and cultures, Pacific Heartbeat aims to show viewers the real Pacific, from language to music to modern-day issues affecting the region. Returning for an 11th season this April, four new feature-length documentaries will explore the importance of connection among Pacific Islanders and their communities, profiling student-led strikes for climate change in Aotearoa; the bond of a mother and son in Kawakawa; the journey to rediscover home and Samoan culture; and a look back through history and legend in Honolulu.

The new season of Pacific Heartbeat premieres
Monday, April 4 at 7/6. Check your local listings.
High Tide Don't Hide – April 4 on TV, online & on the PBS app

In 2019, students in more than 150 countries launched strikes to demand action to avert cataclysmic climate change. With intimate access to students and their homes, meetings and personal video diaries in Aotearoa, New Zealand, The Rebel Film Collective wove together the stories of five teenagers as they led their communities in what became the world's largest climate change strike. HIGH TIDE DON'T HIDE reveals the inner processes of teenagers mobilizing record-setting numbers of children and adults while dealing with the looming threat of climate change, interpersonal politics and the need to just be teenagers.

James & Isey – April 11 on TV, online & on the PBS app

Ngāti Manu woman Isey Cross lives with her youngest son, James, on a farm in Kawakawa, a small town on New Zealand’s North Island. Cheeky and vivacious, the 99-year-old is preparing to celebrate her centenary with the party of a lifetime. Over seven days, as James organizes the festivities, JAMES & ISEY captures their devoted bond, to each other and to the spirit world, as well as their infectious aroha – love.

Loimata, The Sweetest Tears – April 18 on TV, online & on the PBS app

In LOIMATA, THE SWEETEST TEARS, filmmaker Anna Marbrook takes viewrs along with her friend, Lilo Ema Siope, an extraordinary ocean-going waka captain, on an emotional healing journey in the last months of her life. Strongly tied to Ema's Samoan culture, the compassionate film is an intimate exploration of a family shattered by shame but working courageously to liberate themselves from the shackles of the past in a journey of courage, tears, laughter and, above all, unconditional love.

The Australian Dream – April 25 on TV | Available online & on the PBS app

Unraveling the remarkable and inspirational story of Indigenous Australian Football League legend Adam Goodes to tell a deeper and more powerful story about race, identity and belonging. The film unpacks the events of the 2013-15 AFL seasons and asks fundamental questions about racism and discrimination in society today.

The Healer Stones of Kapaemahu – May 2 on TV, online & on the PBS app

On Honolulu's famed Waikiki Beach stand four giant boulders placed as a tribute to the four legendary mahu – individuals of dual male and female spirit – who brought the healing arts from Tahiti to Hawai'i long ago. Although the stones have survived for centuries, their story has been hidden, and the respected role of mahu erased. THE HEALER STONES OF KAPAEMAHU documents the trail of post-colonial suppression through the eyes of a Native Hawaiian director, herself mahu, using rare archival materials, new historical findings and vivid animation to bring the unexpurgated story back to life.


What is public media's role in representing BIPOC and AAPI communities? Emmy-winning comedian, podcaster and activist Sheletta Brundidge hosted a conversation with Black Public Media Executive Director Leslie Fields-Cruz and Pacific Islanders in Communications Interim Executive Director Cheryl Hirasa – hear about the new seasons of Pacific Heartbeat and AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange and the importance of diversity in public media.

Pacific Heartbeat is presented by Pacific Islanders in Communication

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Pacific Heartbeat

An anthology series that provides viewers a glimpse of the real Pacific.