Pacific Heartbeat

PACIFIC HEARTBEAT is a national public television series of critically acclaimed documentaries that provides an authentic glimpse into the Pacific Islander experience. Creative and beautifully told stories about arts, culture and intimate human stories, the series features a diverse array of programs intended to draw viewers into the heart and soul of Pacific Island culture.

Download the discussion guide to learn more about the films, and engage with the stories on social media using the hashtags #PacificHeartbeat and #AAPIstories.

Episodes

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Season 10

  • Episode

    The Australian Dream

    THE AUSTRALIAN DREAM unravels the remarkable and inspirational story of Indigenous AFL 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.

  • Episode

    For My Father's Kingdom

    FOR MY FATHER’S KINGDOM follows Tongan pensioner Saia Mafile’o and his family as they are stretched to breaking point by the commitment and passion to God that has driven Saia’s life. This debut feature documentary offers a rich view of how contemporary secular families deal with the rigors of devout Christian tithing, as well as a unique insight into traditional Tongan culture.

  • Episode

    Stan

    This breathtakingly honest and brave documentary follows 26-year-old musician Stan Walker as he fights a rare cancer caused by a genetic mutation that has killed 25 members of his family. Facing his diagnosis with humor and determination, he embarks on a mission to seek aggressive treatment and convince his family members who carry the gene that they need to face their potential fate.

  • Episode

    Tokyo Hula

    Today it is estimated there are nearly 2 million people dancing hula in Japan – a figure greater than the entire population of Hawai‘i. TOKYO HULA examines how tourism, economics, and a love for all things Hawaiian have fueled this cultural phenomenon by focusing on the personal stories of Japanese teachers who have started their own schools and Hawaiian master teachers who are now living and teac

  • Episode

    American Aloha: Hula Beyond Hawai'i

    AMERICAN ALOHA: HULA BEYOND HAWAI’I tells the stories of three kumu hula (master instructors) who direct hula schools based in California. The film explores the challenges they face trying to perpetuate hula faithfully, from the traditional to the contemporary, as it evolves on distant shores.

  • Episode

    Na Kamalei: The Men of Hula

    The role of male hula dancers has long been overshadowed by Western concepts of gender and sexuality. NA KAMALEI: THE MEN OF HULA follows a group of male dancers, who range in age from 18 to 55 years old, as they prepare to compete in the largest hula competition in the world, the Merrie Monarch Hula Festival.

About Season 9

PACIFIC HEARTBEAT is an anthology series that provides viewers with a glimpse of the real Pacific — its people, culture and contemporary issues. From revealing exposés to in-depth profiles and unexpected histories, the series features a diverse array of programs that draw viewers into the heart, mind and soul of Pacific Island culture.

  • Preview

    Anote's Ark

    The Pacific Island nation of Kiribati (population: 100,000) is one of the most remote places on the planet, seemingly far-removed from the pressures of modern life. Yet it is one of the first countries that must confront the main existential dilemma of our time: imminent annihilation from sea-level rise.

  • Preview

    Power Meri

    Power Meri follows Papua New Guinea's first national women's rugby league team, the PNG Orchids, on their journey to the 2017 World Cup in Australia. These trailblazers must beat not only the sporting competition, but also intense sexism, a lack of funding, and national prejudice to reach their biggest stage yet.

  • Preview

    Born This Way: Awa's Story/The Rogers

    Born This Way: Awa's Story - In New Zealand, Te Awarangi 'Awa' Puna is an openly transgender Maori teen attending her final year at Kapiti College in Wellington, New Zealand. The Rogers - An intimate glimpse into the lives of those who formed the first visible group of transgender men in the Pacific Islands - The Rogers of Samoa.

About Season 8

The eighth season of PACIFIC HEARTBEAT chronicles the Pacific Islander experience from Hawai’i to the continental USA, Tonga, Australia, Easter Island, London, England, and beyond. From revealing exposés to rousing musical performances, the series features a diverse array of programs that will draw viewers into the heart and soul of Pacific Island culture.

  • Preview

    Prison Songs

    The people imprisoned in a Darwin jail are shown in a unique and completely new light in Australia’s first ever documentary musical. Incarcerated in tropical Northern Territory, over 800 inmates squeeze into the overcrowded spaces of Berrimah Prison. In an Australian first, the inmates share their feelings, faults and experiences in the most extraordinary way – through song.

  • Preview

    Leitis in Waiting

    The story of Tonga’s evolving approach to gender fluidity through a character-driven portrait of the most prominent leiti (transgender) in the Kingdom, Joey Mataele, a devout Catholic of royal descent. LEITIS IN WAITING reveals what it means to be different in a deeply religious and conservative society, and what it takes to be accepted without giving up who you are.

  • Preview

    Te Kuhane o te Tupuna

    TE KUHANE o te TUPUNA is a journey from Easter Island to London, in search of the Moai Hoa Haka Nanaia, a statue of significant cultural importance. The film explores the social & political landscape of Rapanui as its people attempt to claim back what is rightfully theirs: the land and a lava-rock image of tremendous presence, representing one of the world's most extraordinary cosmological views.

  • Preview

    Let's Play Music! Slack Key with Cyril Pahinui & Friends

    Master slack key musician Cyril Pahinui jams with some of the most revered and talented musicians in Hawai‘i in intimate kanikapila-style backyard performances. Cyril was the son of Gabby “Pop” Pahinui, who is considered the “Godfather” of Hawaiian slack key guitar and whose music was featured prominently in the Academy Award-winning film, THE DESCENDANTS.

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