Aloha - The spirit of Hawaii | DocFilm | DW | 28.07.2018
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Aloha - The spirit of Hawaii

With its hula dancers, cool surfer dudes and white, sandy beaches: Hawaii is the place to go. Millions of tourists visit the archipelago in search of South Pacific paradise and "Aloha" - the breath of life. What is life really like on these islands?

Watch video 42:32

Aloha stands for love, respect and friendship. This documentary takes you to lava deserts on the Big Island, to the surfers on the shores of Maui, the rainforest in Kauai and Honolulu’s legendary Waikiki Beach. The true spirit of Hawaii - many people on the islands live their own version of it. David for example, a self-styled Waikiki Beach Boy for 30 years: Every morning, shortly after six AM, you can meet him at Honolulu’s legendary beach, even if it has mutated into an amusement strip crammed with resort hotels. "My greatest love is and remains this beach." Sig Zane can also tell us how much Hawaii has been changed by tourism: The wiry 65-year-old lives on the largest of the Hawaiian islands, Big Island. In the 1970s Zane began to make traditional Hawaiian shirts, and found a niche in the market. The Hawaiian shirt became a hit, but then degenerated into a cheap touristic parody made of polyester. But Zane continues to sew the shirts using traditional fabrics and patterns. He is now a cult figure on the island; his shirts have become coveted classics that represent the true spirit of Hawaii. Ocean Ramsey, a 30-year-old marine biologist, also lives the spirit of Hawaii. Ramsey has projects all over the world - but most of all she loves the north of O'ahu. Here she dives with great white sharks entirely without protection, dedicating her life to these "most misunderstood animals" and to protecting the world's oceans. In the small village of Waimanalo, Bumpy Kanahele and his nephew Brandon fight for a Hawaii they want to see return to its origins. "We don't want to be compulsory Americans," they say and even live in their community according to their own Hawaiian constitution.