“Io---the Creator---is in the very breath we take.
Everything has Io in it.”
Kahu Kauila Clark is a Native Hawaiian traditional healer, knowledge keeper, and artist of note. In this documentary, Kahu Kauila shares in his own words about the life experiences that led him to become a healer and teacher of the most ancient and pure strain of traditional Hawaiian spirituality.
Kauila's “talk-story” encompasses the ancient Hawaiian beliefs in the Oneness of all Divinity and Creation, and the necessary balance between the Ku, the male energy, and the Hina, the female energy. In his stories, teaching, and ceremonies, he weaves these energies together, balancing conflict through the process of restoring to rightness known as Ho'oponopono, bringing individuals and communities back to the spirit of Aloha that animates all life.
“Everything that has life has Aloha,” says Kauila. That spirit is inherent in his healing work, his art, his teaching to local and worldwide audiences, and his activism as the past Chairman of the National Association of Community Health Centers in Washington, DC.
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Kauila is a repository of traditional Hawaiian knowledge, and his mixed ethnic background and varied life experiences serve to enhance and enrich both his knowledge and his ability to convey it. He is one of only 7 Kahunas certified as Traditional Hawaiian Practitioners, but prefers the title of Kahu, or priest, to that of Kahuna, which means “keeper of secrets.” In these times when humanity faces crucial practical and spiritual decisions about its own future, as well as the future of the myriad species with which humanity shares its home, Kauila feels that profound indigenous knowledge of harmony and balance must be shared, not kept secret.
The narrative structure of the documentary will be Kauila's words from an extensive free-ranging interview conducted by co-producer Kathe Boucha as Phase I of production. In coordination with Kauila, questions have been prepared that cover everything from the origins of Hawaiian spirituality to how Ho'oponopono can be applied in the prison system and in restoring ecological balance in Hawaii and worldwide. Kauila's spiritual guidance is bound to take these questions as a starting point and spontaneously journey to unexpected places and insights. Phase I shooting will be on Oahu in late October, 2016.
Phase II, to be filmed in early 2017, will be shaped by Kauila's sharings in the Phase I interview. Visuals will include Kauila teaching, working closely with his apprentices, doing ceremony, giving traditional energy healing sessions, officiating at a wedding, helping welcome and name a baby, assisting in an individual departing this world, creating art, and sharing those sacred places that are permitted to be shared.
The film will also be a retrospective of Hawaiian history, culture, and change, focusing not only on pre-Colonial Hawaii but on the most ancient traditions before the 12th century arrival of Pa'ao, the figure who brought thousands of gods, the concept and practice of war, and the hierarchical system of chiefs, commoners, and slaves.
Archival photos as well as scenes of Hawaii's harmonious beauty will illustrate Kauila's teachings. The production crew will follow Kauila to the island of Kauai, tuning in to the ancient rhythms of balance and reconciliation, connecting with the ancestors of the Hawaiian people, and the spiritual ancestors of all people.
This film will weave visual beauty and inspiring words into a story of the breath that infuses all life and encompasses Aloha as both a worldview and a way of life. As we move further into production, we are going to allow the film to decide its own form and length. Currently we are aiming for the film festival circuit rather than a specific length for an international PBS audience, though we are open to all possibilities.
One Breath: One Life is a project of the Global Diversity Film Project (GDFP), a program of the non-profit Perception International, in association with Catalyst Artistic Productions.
The co-producers are Debra Denker, Kathe Boucha, and Kauila Clark. Debra Denker, a documentary maker with decades of experience in social and spiritual documentary, will be the director.
---Kahu Kauila Clark