HIFF: Land of Eb

(HawaiiNewsNow) - Land of Eb was created by a Big Island Resident and shoot exclusively on Big Island about a Big Island family. It was also seen at the Toronto Film Festival this month. It will be showing at this fall's Hawaii International Film Festival.

It is the story of a Marshallese family man living in Kona, Hawaii who is diagnosed with stomach cancer. He keeps his illness a secret and resolves to pay off his family's debts before his death. In the Marshall Islands in 1946, the U.S. military initiated the testing of seventy thermonuclear weapons, rendering the area (in the words of the Atomic Energy Commission) "by far the most contaminated in the world." Those islanders who were lucky enough to escape sought new, better lives for their families on American soil. But their quiet suffering was far from over, as Andrew Williamson's The Land of Eb shows us, relating a compassionate portrait of the Marshallese diaspora in Kona, Hawaii from the point of view of a hard-working family man.

With a cast of non-professional actors recruited from the Marshallese community in Kona, The Land of Eb explores the frustrating, day-to-day difficulties of living in a world that doesn't share your native tongue, culture, or values. Though Jacob is clearly an intelligent man, he continually suffers indignities due to the considerable language barrier. But when he records his family's history for posterity on one of his video cameras, he speaks eloquently in Marshallese of the mother country they can never go back to, and the dashed dreams of their new home - one that has never welcomed them with open arms.

About the Director: Andrew Williamson's debut film, The Land of Eb, was produced entirely on the Big Island of Hawaii where he has resided for nearly a decade. Andrew received his bachelor's degree in Film Studies from the University of California, Irvine where he studied film from around the world. He works with an international team of filmmakers in Kona, HI producing short and feature length projects, many of which have won awards at local and international festivals. Upon meeting a member of the local Marshallese community and hearing his story, he discovered they had a mutual passion for filmmaking and immediately set out writing a script that would eventually turn into The Land of Eb. The Land of Eb (2012) is his first full-length feature film. He has directed the short films Fernando's Proposal (2007) and Nasili (2008).

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