Film Detail

One Voice

Lisette Marie Flanary / USA / 2009 / 84 min


Glee club meets Hawaiian pride in this new documentary about the popular Kamehameha Schools Song Contest in Honolulu, which features high school students banding together, not to sing Michael Jackson or Britney Spears but something far more stirring: traditional Hawai’ian-language songs. Banned for decades after the U.S. annexation of Hawai’i (“The best way of dismantling the culture, the honor and the sovereignty of the people: to take away their language,” notes one activist), the Hawai’ian language is finally enjoying a renaissance and the Kamehameha Song Contest is at the heart of it. Broadcast live every year on primetime TV, the event captivates both audiences and, of course, the participants. “It’s important to understand these songs, because they don’t just live with you for a semester, but the rest of your life,” says one student. Shadowing several chorus leaders in the weeks leading up to the event, ONE VOICE also works as a real-life high school musical, complete with nerds, jocks, band geeks and prep- pies (although here even the jocks sing, or at least conduct), as well as the usual “upper vs. lower classmen” humor (“Okay, seniors can practice in here, juniors in ensemble ... and sophomores in the closet”). Director Lisette Marie Flanary (NA KAMALEI: THE MEN OF HULA, SFIAAFF Audience Award ‘07) even follows the students home, where, in backyard BBQ’s or living room piano gatherings, music is revealed to be deeply ingrained. “You don’t know your culture until you know your language”; for these students, singing in one voice, one language, it’s also about knowing yourself. Jason Sanders In Attendance: Lisette Marie Flanary (Director)


  • Director: Lisette Marie Flanary
  • Producer: Heather Haunani Giugni, Ruth Bolan
  • Cinematographer: Brian Wilcox
  • Editor: Zelda Greenstein


Sun 03.13 630pm

Wed 03.16 445pm

Sun 03.20 215pm


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