More than half a million native Hawaiians were living in the islands at the time of European contact in 1778. Within 50 years, that population was cut in half as Western diseases claimed thousands of lives. A litany of events followed: American missionaries preached unfamiliar ideas and customs; sugarcane and pineapple plantations absorbed individual farmlands; waves of immigrant workers arrived, making Hawaiians a minority in their own land; and WWII brought a lasting military presence. University of Hawai'i sociologists estimate that the extinction of full-blooded Hawaiians could come within the next 45 years. This compelling story of a race displaced and now on the verge of extinction is brilliantly told in this award-winning documentary created by the great-granddaughter of Hawaiian high chiefs and English seafarers.
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