This is the story of 138 young men from Hawai'i, most of them Native Hawaiian, who were sent on a secret government mission to colonize remote desert islands for the United States. The occupation began in 1935 and ended shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. It resulted in hardship, sacrifice and tragedy.
It was by chance that Noelle Kahanu learned that her grandfather, George, was a colonist. Since the discovery some ten years ago, Noelle has worked tirelessly on behalf of voices forgotten. Her discovery led to a very successful exhibit at the Bishop Museum and a one hour long documentary.
In a recent trip to the National Archives located in College Park, Maryland, Noelle uncovered new documents from 1935 stating "the Navy Department advises that Navy personnel cannot be used to inhabit Baker, Howland and Jarvis Islands. It is, therefore, suggested that native Hawaiians be used for this purpose." The most incriminating documents that Noelle found confirming the US Government cared little for the native Hawaiians that were putting themselves in harms way was a request made by an official to evacuate the colonists six months prior to the bombing of Pearl Harbor. That request was denied.
"Under A Jarvis Moon" has been screened at Marks Garage in Chinatown, Atherton Halau Bishop Museum, Kamehameha Schools, the Pearl Harbor Visitorʻs Center, Maui Arts Cultural Center, Anchorage, Alaska, Washington D.C. and broadcast on PBS nationally. A tribute to her grandfather George, Noelle Kahanu's discovery in the archives of the Bishop Museum of a story long forgotten is renewed in this film.
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Noelle Kahanu & Heather Giugni
Noelle Kanahu, Heather Giugni, Lisa Altieri