Upon viewing a private screening of Waikiki, Joshua Wisch, the Executive Director of ACLU Hawaii had shared his thoughts with us:

“One of the things we are spending an increasing amount of time working on at the ACLU of Hawai'i is ensuring that the civil rights of our houseless communities are protected. These are people who all too often ‘other-ized’ and shunted to the outskirts of society. One of the challenges we face in our work is showing that these folks are members of our community – our friends, neighbors, and ‘ohana. And in a place as expensive to live as Hawai'i, more of us than we care to admit are one lost paycheck away from being on the street ourselves. The movie Waikiki makes this real in startling and searing fashion. Instead of pushing houseless people to the sidelines, it focuses on them. It illuminates their struggles and shows how even working three jobs isn’t always enough to make it in Hawai'i. I hope people see this film and understand that people like those depicted in Waikiki don’t have more rights than everyone else, but theyare supposed to have the same rights under our Constitution. Criminalizing poverty won’t solve houselessness. We need to understand how we got here and find locally-based community solutions to this challenge. Storytelling is going to be a big part of that, and Waikiki is the kind of story that needs to be told.” -

Chris Kahunahana