If you’ve travelled to the islands of Hawaii, you’ll understand what I mean about that need to return over and over again. Heck, I would move there without hesitation if I could. There is a desire to learn more about the land, the spirit of the people and, of course, the dramatic vistas are absolutely unforgettable. This is what drew my attention to the new family adventure film, FINDING OHANA, now available to view on Netflix.
The story follows two siblings, and their mother, who leave their Brooklyn home to visit their grandfather in Oahu during their summer break. Learning that he cannot afford to live on his own anymore, the family has to decide whether he should move away from his paradise to Brooklyn or if they should uproot and all live in Oahu.
Pilialoha “Pili” Kawena, age 12, is a Geocaching champion — if you don’t know what that is, it’s worth searching up. The real-life activity of geocaching is an amazing way to explore anywhere in the world. And Hawaii is full of these amazing treasure hunts for all ages. When our kids were younger we visited Maui and Kauai. Geocaching was our favourite pastime and we met fellow geocachers along the way. You’ll want to understand the global rules of geocaching before you start.
In Finding ‘Ohana, the family arrives at their grandfather’s home. Pili’s curiosity leads to a discovery of a 200 year old cryptic journal filled with drawings and notes. A history lesson is woven into this storyline – presented in flashbacks but with modern lingo that kids will find entertaining.
Her grandfather tells the legendary story piquing Pili’s curiosity leading her to the biggest and most thrilling treasure hunt ever. After all, if the story of the lost treasure was true, finding that would help him financially.
With her older brother and new friends in tow she uses her clue solving skills to lead them on an adventure of a lifetime through the natural wonders of Hawaii.
Roughly 30 minutes into the movie I was already to book my next trip out to Kauai (but, right. it’s pandemic times so I’ll wait). The story line is spotted with Hawaiian culture and paying respect to the island and those who live there. A beautiful message about living aloha is shared in this film. Grandpa best explained that ‘aloha’ is about how we treat ourselves, how we help others, and knowing our responsibilities in life.
As Pili learns to respect and love her native culture she also discovers not all secrets should be shared and that the real treasure in life is ‘ohana – her family.
This is an adventure film great for viewing especially on a cold winter’s day when you want a reminder of how undeniably beautiful the islands are and how important family truly is. I also love the Indiana Jones feel to this film that offers a few surprises and twists.
Link to the film here www.netflix.com/FindingOhana
I’ve been craving musubi so I’m going to add SPAM to my next grocery list. Don’t snub it until you try it! It’s so good!
Director: Jude Weng
Written By: Christina Strain
Produced by Ian Bryce, p.g.a.
Executive Producers: Irene Yeung, JJ Hook
Finding ‘Ohana Cast: Kea Peahu, Alex Aiono, Lindsay Watson, Owen Vaccaro, with Kelly Hu and Branscombe Richmond, Ke Huy Quan, Brad Kalilimoku, Chris Parnell, Marc Evan Jackson, Ricky Garcia