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LEA TUPU’ANGA | MOTHER TONGUE

Directed by Vea Mafile'o

Cast: Albert Rounds, Elizabeth Thomson, Luciane Buchanan, Michael Koloi, Mikey Falesiu

Katherine, a young speech therapist of Tongan and European heritage has lied about her Tongan language skills to work with Siaosi – an elderly Tongan patient with aphasia who has lost his ability to speak English.

Siaosi resents Katherine’s presence and is resistant to her speech therapy sessions. Anxious for progress, Katherine enlists her Tongan boyfriend Maka to translate. During this exchange, Katherine unwittingly offends Siaosi, who sternly tells them to exit – jeopardising her work and causing tension with Maka. Katherine is left feeling disconnected and insecure about her identity.

Under pressure to complete her report, Katherine returns to Siaosi’s house. When Siaosi catches Katherine trespassing on his property, he berates her and Katherine breaks down in tears. Katherine’s vulnerability catches Siaosi off-guard and an amusing miscommunication leads to a heart-warming moment.

Katherine bonds with Siaosi and just as they start to make progress in their speech therapy, Siaosi suffers a medical emergency. Panicking and out of her depth, Katherine must find a way to communicate with her patient, or risk Siaosi’s life and have her professional mistruth revealed.

Credits
Writer: Luciane Buchanan
Producer: Alex Lovell, Eldon Booth
Executive Producer: Frankie Adams
Director of Photography: Maria Ines Manchego
Editor: Lisa Greenfield, Anastasia Doniants
Production Designer: Emily Mafile’o
Composer: Stephen Gallagher
Sound Designer: Nigel Foster
Music: Stephen Gallagher

 

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PACIFIC CINEWAVES: THE STORIES WE TELL

We are grateful to present another edition of Pacific Cinewaves Shorts; celebrating stories that connect generations and lands.