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A Place in the Middle (Kumu Hina)

Dean Hamer, Joe Wilson / 2014 / USA / 24 mins

Eleven-year-old Ho'onani dreams of leading the hula troupe at her inner-city Honolulu school. The only trouble is that the group is just for boys. She's fortunate that her teacher understands first-hand what it's like to be 'in the middle' - the Hawaiian tradition of embracing both male and female spirit. Together they set out to prove that what matters most is what's in your heart and mind.

This film is presented in English; however, there are a few brief explanations of Hawaiian words that appear in subtitles. The complete Discussion Guide for this film is included on the Educational Resources page.

Trailer | Website

Director Biographies

Dean Hamer is an educator, scientist emeritus at the National Institutes of Health, The New York Times' Book of the Year author, and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker. He formed Qwaves with partner Joe Wilson to produce insightful and provocative documentaries about often overlooked social issues. Their films have been supported by PBS, Sundance, and Pacific Islanders in Communications, and used as outreach and educational tools by a wide range of community and educational organizations. Together, they have directed numerous short films, including A Place in the Middle (14).

Joe Wilson got involved in documentary filmmaking through his social activism on human rights issues. His debut short film, Otros Amores (06), won the Videomaker National Documentary Film Challenge, and he co-directed and produced the Emmy Award-winning feature documentary Out in the Silence (04). Together with his partner in life and filmmaking, Dean Hamer, he has directed several documentary shorts and educational/community outreach campaigns. A Place in the Middle (14) is their latest short.