Using the isolated region of Waipi'o Valley as a backdrop, LI'A: THE LEGACY OF A HAWAIIAN MAN is brought to life by director Eddie Kamae and his wife and producer Myrna Kamae. This 60-minute, award-winning documentary combines the rich musical heritage of the islands with heartfelt interviews. LI`A is an unforgettable film about a man so in harmony with the valley of his birth, that it inspired performer and researcher Eddie Kamae to preserve this unique legacy on film, in a tribute to the life and music of Sam Li'a Kalainaina.
Sam Li'a Kalainaina's story began in the Big Island's valley of Waipi'o-a region filled with mystery, legend and deep ancestral power. Nurtured and inspired by the beauty of this special place, Sam Li'a's music gave voice not only to the land, but also to the history and culture of the Hawaiian people.
Known as the songwriter of Waipi'o-Sam Li'a was one of the truly great Hawaiian poets whose eloquent language lives on through his music. Born in 1881, Sam Li'a's life bridged two centuries and two ways of life. He understood the ways of his Hawaiian ancestors and taught it through Hawaiian language, hula and song. This endeared him to the kupuna (elders) and to the younger generation in and around Waipi'o Valley.
Eddie Kamae says of his friend, "Sam Li'a was never famous and he had no desire to be. He was a man of an older time and an older place; a man whose music and whose life was filled with the spirit of Hawai'i...a man of Aloha."
Directed by Eddie Kamae, Produced by Myrna Kamae, the film is narrated by gifted chanter and Hawaiian historian, Ka'upena Wong, and features music by Eddie Kamae & The Sons of Hawai'i. Award-winning editor Ralph Biesemeyer edited the film. The writer of the project is James D. Houston, co-author of the book and award-winning teleplay, "Farewell to Manzanar" as well as many more critically acclaimed books including the biography of Eddie Kamae "Hawaiian Son." Boone Morrison, an award-winning Photographer was Assistant Director and a Cameraman.
• Awarded Best Documentary Hawai'i International Film Festival (HIFF) 1988
• Palm Springs International Film Festival Participation Award Winner 1990
• HIFF awarded LIA best documentary at their first 10 year Celebration 1998
• Chosen as Opening Pacific Rim Film Festival and Benefit.