Filmmaker Christen Hepuakoa Marquez was born in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi. Christen's family deteriorated when her mother Elena was diagnosed with schizophrenia, and as a young girl she moved to Seattle with her father and brothers. After nearly 20 years of living in the continental U.S., Christen returns to Hawai'i to learn the meaning of her incredibly long Hawaiian name from her estranged mother.
In Hawaiian culture, you don't give a name, you hake inoa. Haku means "to weave," and inoa is the Hawaiian word for "name." For Kānaka Maoli (Native Hawaiians), a name is often considered a sacred extension of a person's identity. Words are artfully woven together to create a poem celebrating the namesake's heritage and destiny. Elena created Christen's name and is the only person who knows its true meaning.
Christen doggedly pursues this piece of her identity, struggling through tears and misunderstandings to unlock the mystery not only of her name, but also of her mother.
- Christen Hepuakoa MarquezProducer/Director