Moana

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

While many are looking forward to Disney's "Moana" hitting theaters Thanksgiving weekend, some Pacific Islanders are not excited for the film. Ahead of its debut, "Moana" has become the subject of criticism from some who say it inaccurately depicts Polynesian culture and exploits it for profit.

"Through this project, Disney reached into the entire Pacific region and cherry picked here and there to create this fantasy of Polynesia," Anne Keala Kelly, a Native Hawaiian filmmaker and journalist, told NBC News. "Polynesia isn't a race and so that already is very problematic. There are millions of people in the Pacific, hundreds of languages."

In preparing for "Moana," Disney created a group called the "Oceanic Story Trust" made up of academics, anthropologists, and other experts to inform the creative process. But critics have blasted the lack of transparency behind the trust.

"We don't know what the process is and it seems as if people were selected from very specific islands," Vince Diaz, a professor at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities with a background in Pacific Island studies, told NBC News. "Why those islands? Who gets to authenticate Polynesia and especially in a historical context in which Polynesia gets to stand for the entire Pacific?"

The film pulls cultural aspects from multiple ethnic groups in Polynesia and represents it as one culture, Diaz, who is Filipino Pohnpeian and was born in Guam, said. Though he hasn't yet seen "Moana" in its entirety, he observed in trailers the inclusion of Fijian music, Tahitian drumming, and Samoan tattoos.

Diaz is Filipino Pohnpeian.

Complete story at the link below

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/critics-accuse-disney-culture-theft-ahead-moana-release-n685866?cid=sm_tw&ir=Hawaii

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