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Critical Pacific Islands Studies Library Guide

Film & Media

Film & Media

Films are available at the Media Resources Center or streaming from services such as Kanopy. Find a list of Oceania or Pacific Islanders on Film compiled by MUBI. There are also a variety of information videos available by independent filmmakers and online. Below are some selected films and clips recommended by PI students.




Kanopy has many films  and documentaries related to Ethnic Studies. Search keywords for particular communities (for example, "Pacific Islander") or browse by subject. Relevant subjects include Documentaries -> Ethnicity & Identity and Social Sciences -> Race & Class Studies. Watch from home by clicking the link and using your UC Berkeley Cal ID.  

Media Resources Center: DVDs and Non Print Media

The Media Resources Center (MRC) is the UC Berkeley Library's primary collection of materials in audio and visual formats, including DVDs, videocassettes, streamed audio and video, compact audio discs, and audiocassettes.

How to Cite Media

You can also find non-print media of all types in UC Library Search; search by keywords, author, subject, title, etc. and pull down the "Entire Collection" menu to the type of resource you want (maps, films, etc.)

All Media Resources Center materials must be used on-site.


Guam: American Soil, Chamorro Soul 'American Soil, Chamorro Soul' is a modern documentary film about the people of Guam. Through interviews, the film reveals what Chamorro culture means in 2015 as three generations of Chamorro people describe the cultural Renaissance in arts, agriculture, and sailing.

Island Soldier The untold story of Micronesian soldiers fighting for their piece of the "American Dream" and the future of a small island nation.

KUMU HINA is a powerful film about the struggle to maintain Pacific Islander culture and values within the Westernized society of modern day Hawaiʻi. It is told through the lens of an extraordinary Native Hawaiian who is both a proud and confident māhū, or transgender woman, and an honored and respected kumu, or teacher, cultural practitioner, and community leader. Available in the UC Berkeley Media Resources Center.

The Queendom of Tonga or Like a Lady: The Fakaleitis of Tonga A Peace Corps volunteer in the Kingdom of Tonga has been told to keep his sexual orientation private. Members of the transgender community, the fakaleitis, navigate their own journey of self-discovery and acceptance in their small conservative country in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Once Were Warriors Melodrama depicting realities of a poor Māori family; Tensions within cultural identity. Trigger warning: domestic violence, drug use, sexuality.

Maisa the Chamoru Girl who Saves Guåhan Based on a beloved classic Legend from the island of Guam, 'Maisa the Chamoru Girl who Saves Guåhan' tells the story of how a young Chamoru girl finds the strength, wisdom, and courage to lead the women of Guåhan (Guam) into battle against a giant creature from the Marianas trench that is devouring their island home. 'Maisa' is the first animated film to feature the endangered indigenous Chamorro language of Guam.

Princess Ka'iulani This sweeping historical epic tells the story of the final days of Hawaiian independence and Princess Ka'iulani (1875-1899) who stood up to try to save her nation.

Act of War: The Overthrow of the Hawaiian Nation This hour-long documentary is a provocative look at a historical event of which few Americans are aware. In mid-January, 1893, armed troops from the U.S.S Boston landed at Honolulu in support of a treasonous coup d’état against the constitutional sovereign of the Hawaiian Kingdom, Queen Lili‘uokalani. The event was described by U.S. President Grover Cleveland as an "act of war." Film is available to watch online.

Media Clips

Kaho'olawe Aloha 'Aina - George Helm Produced in 1977 by the Protect Kaho'olawe 'Ohana, this program features scenes from the last years of the life of George Jarrett Helm, Jr. as he worked tirelessly to stop the bombing of Kaho'olawe and inspire others to take up the cause of Aloha 'Āina (love and protection of the land).

History of Hōkūle'a The original inhabitants of Hawaii are believed to have arrived many centuries ago from Polynesia, using only the stars as their guide. The navigational skills, courage and resilience that enabled them to sail in relatively small canoes over such a huge distance are truly inspiring. Today, similar voyages have been re-created by the canoe called the Hōkūle'a, which means "star of joy." Let's learn more about these great voyages and how they revitalized Hawaiian pride and the use of Polynesian voyaging techniques.

Poi is the nutritious staple food of the ancient Hawaiian diet made from the root of the taro plant. Alika Sing CEO/Founder of Ai Manuahi Farms shows us how traditional poi is made and eaten.