Lieweila: A Micronesian Story
U.S.A. / 1998 / English, Refalawasch /Color, B&W / Video /58 min

Director, Producer, Script: Beret E. Strong, Cinta M. Kaipat
Photography, Sound: Beret E. Strong
Editing, Sound: Ken Schneider
Music: Attel Isla Narration: Cinta M. Kaipat
Source: Beret E. Strong, 1505 Mariposa Ave.
Boulder, CA 80302 USA
Phone: 1-303-440-5499 / Fax: 1 -303-440-3961
E-mail: beret@tesser.com

Beret E. Strong

Filmmaker, poet, teacher, and scholar. Has Ph.D. in comparative literature from Brown University, where she has taught, and MFA from Warren Wilson College. She is the author of several books and has published poetry in numerous literary magazines. Has worked on several documentaries including Return to Iwo Jima, now in post-production.

Cinta Matagolai Kaipat

Born in Agriham in the Northern Mariana Islands. She is a native Refalawasch. Moved to Saipan at age 10. Studied liberal arts at DePaul University in Chicago and holds a J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School. She serves as the film's narrator. This is her first film.

This is the first film about the culture and history of a people called the Refarawasch living in the Northern Mariana Islands. Many years ago, typhoons and earthquakes had forced them from their motherland, the Caroline Islands. The Refarawasch now number about three thousand. Against the backdrop of the beautiful natural surroundings of the South Pacific, the film describes the modern history of one family, focusing on a crisis in their ethnic identity due to rapid development and increase in population. This area was under Japanese government control between 1914 and 1944, and some 40,000 Japanese lived there, mainly on Saipan Island. It was the site of a major battle with the United States during the War as well as the staging site (Tinian Island) for aircraft armed with atomic bombs headed to Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Many Japanese tourists visit here and it looks at first glance as if they know it well. But in fact they have little opportunity to learn about the culture, history and mentality of the indigenous people. By following the suggestion in the original film title, Lieweila (which means "listen to our story" in the Refarawasch language), we can deepen and enrich our understanding.
[Fukushima Yukio]

COPYRIGHT:Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival Organizing Committee