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The iconic carved statues of ‘Easter Island’ have fascinated visitors for hundreds of years, but the culture who crafted them - the Rapa Nui people - is often left to the imagination of outsiders. Deforested and barren, the island of Rapa Nui has limited primary industries, but has benefited economically from the rise of tourism, but must now contend with unsustainable waste and the disappearance of local ways of life.
Documentary filmmaker Sergio M. Rapu passes on the story to his newborn daughter, while is father - a local entrepreneur - tries to set up the island’s first mall to bring the advancements of the Western world closer to the community. Meanwhile, a local ecologist struggles to contend with the island’s escalating waste problem, while two musicians fight to make their community music school a reality. Interlacing these stories with the history of the island and its people, TE PITO O TE HENUA captures the complexities of balancing local authenticity with the commercial demands of modern globalisation, and demonstrates that sustainability is not only ecological, but also cultural.