Easter Island-set environmentalism doc Eating Up Easter is screening on its home turf before heading to PBS.
Described as a “cinematic letter” to director Sergio Mata’u Rapu’s son, the film explores the effects of globalization, tourism and pollution from plastics on Easter Island. A native Rapanui (Easter Island) filmmaker, Rapu examines his community and the intergenerational differences in looking at the island’s future.
Eating Up Easter is a co-production of Mara Films, Kartemquin Films and Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC). Rapu serves as producer, alongside writer Elena Rapu. Leanne Ferrer, Gordon Quinn and Betsy Steinberg are executive producers.
The doc will have a special screening on Easter island at Toki Rapa Nui on March 15.
Additionally, Eating Up Easter will be broadcast by American pubcaster PBS as part of its longstanding documentary strand “Independent Lens” during the 2019/2020 season, after screening at the Environmental Film Festival in Washington, DC, on March 14 and the Maoriland Film Festival in Otaki, New Zealand, on March 20.
“The last 50 years, my island — my culture — has been used as a cautionary tale of humankind’s ability to destroy our planet. Journalists wrote about the destruction of our island, the death of our people, the demise of a great civilization. But they got it wrong. I made this film so that others would know that the Rapanui people, descendants of those ancient statue carvers, are still very much alive. Through the investigation of a story about food security on Easter Island, I realized that a much more global story was present: one about people trying to survive with limited resources on a tiny planet,” Rapu tells Realscreen.
“On our tiny island, we cannot hide the trash that is piling up, and we cannot afford to ignore the limited water that is at risk of being contaminated. My community’s search for answers to our social and environmental problems is really parallel to the balance we are trying to strike globally between development and sustainability. Next week, after seven years spent making this film, I will hop on a plane and travel back to Easter Island to show it to my community. It will be frightening, to show the film in front of 8,000 of my closest critics. But with our success on the festival circuit as well as the upcoming broadcast on Independent Lens, it is empowering to know that the Rapanui story is finally being told and the world is listening.”
Watch an exclusive trailer below: