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On the grounds that pretty much the bare minimum I ought to do after watching Moana was actually read some discussion (and it would have been better if I'd done that first), herewith a brief linkspam. A lot of these have been discussed in detail in the Facebook group Mana Moana: We Are Moana, We Are Maui.

I am not willing to host White People Criticise Critiques Of Racism. If you are a white person and you want to criticise any of the links here, (a) please actually try to read the discussions Pasifika people are having about this because that will give you a better understanding than discussion with me (do not wade in to tell them they're wrong if you go read), but also (b) I am okay with you PMing me to go "??? you thought this was worth sharing can you unpack some more for me" or similar.

[Article] Disney refines its cultural competence in Moana, but bigger questions remain:
The story itself is an odd blend of historical and cultural accuracy on the one hand, and absolute fiction on the other, which the production crew says was guided every step of the way by their advisors in the Oceanic Story Trust (consisting of unnamed anthropologists, academics, educators, linguists, master navigators, and cultural experts who are evidently bound by non-disclosure agreements). For example, the story is premised on a theory that after centuries of voyaging among Oceanic peoples, there was a one-thousand-year interruption where voyaging mysteriously stopped.


[Blog post] Maui as emasculation of Polynesian/Hawai'ian men.

[ Review]
OVERALL THOUGHTS: I’d probably give the movie a solid 2 out of 5 stars, and even then, it’s a hesitant 2 stars. The only reason why I’d give it 2 stars is because of the animation, Moana’s character design, and the grandmother scenes - that’s it.

THAT BEING SAID: I will say that if I wasn’t as socially aware as I’ve been about the movie, I would’ve probably loved it from beginning to end. But I think there’s something to be said when it’s obvious and clear that the intended audience is not for Pasifika people. When there are Pasifika people who have left the movie confused, disappointed, and a little cheated - I think that holds weight and priority. It is extremely clear that this is a White people film, made for White people, made BY White people, as a way to make profit off Pasifika people and cultures. As someone who’s pretty in tune with their emotions, and is known to cry at emotional parts of most movies - even the emotional parts I couldn’t get into. I found myself constantly rolling my eyes, fidgeting in my seat, and nudging my sister over parts that we knew were inaccurate. It’s a good movie for entertainment, but when I think about the repercussions and the greater impact of something like Moana, I just can’t get into the whole production. My culture, my people, our history, is more than a form of entertainment.


[Article] Goddess Hina: the missing heroine from Disney's Moana.
The omission of a goddess-heroine is significant because Polynesia is a culture with a vast pantheon of powerful heroic goddesses. Hina, a companion goddess to the god Māui, was nowhere to be found in Disneyʼs imagineering of Moana.

Some may argue that this is a minor oversight. But to me, a descendant of Māui and Hina, this is a form of colonial erasure that amounts to failure in oceanic proportion.
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kaberett

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