A Paradise Lost

By Laurie Sumiye

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A PARADISE LOST is an animated/live-action documentary about how a little Hawaiian bird in 1979 successfully sued the State of Hawai‘i to save its kind, but is still on the verge of extinction. A stuffed Palila, an endangered yellow finch found only on Mauna Kea volcano in the Hawaiian Islands, tells the story of Palila v. Hawaii, the landmark court case which protected critical habitat for endangered species. Palila’s future dangles in the balance as a native Hawaiian man strives to restore native forest lost to climate change, cattle ranching and sheep grazing, while a sheep hunter laments the losing his connection to nature and the land. A PARADISE LOST is important because we as a planet and people are losing diversity of all kinds, most of all in Hawai‘i, the Extinction Capital of the World. A small Hawaiian voice is being silenced. This incredible story needs to be told, to be shared, to be taught in schools. Palila v. Hawaii has prevented the extinction of hundreds of American species, yet, its namesake is not yet out of the woods.

Laurie Sumiye is a Hawai’i-based artist and documentary filmmaker who investigates environmental tensions between humans and nature, and UnDo Colab alumna. Her background in interactive media and design informs her drawings, paintings, animations, sculptures and installations. She has exhibited her work in New York, Los Angeles, Hawai’i and internationally, in the UK, South Africa and Brazil and screened her award-winning films at DOC NYC, BAM cinemaFest and PS1MoMA. She has an MFA in Integrated Media Arts from Hunter College in NY, BA & BS in Art and Communications from Bradley University, and studied art at Lorenzo De’ Medici in Florence and Pratt Institute. She returned to Hawaii to work on her first long-form documentary for PBS, A PARADISE LOST.

Laurie currently works and lives in Mililani, Hawaiʻi.

 

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  1. Kyle Dahlin
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  2. Diana Marie Palila BERGER
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