What does climate change mean to those most affected?
‘Matagi Mālohi’ tells the story of the ‘Pacific Climate Warriors’, an indigenous youth-lead movement born out of the low-lying Pacific Islands. Most vulnerable to rising sea levels, climate scientists suggest that this generation might be the last to know their homelands in the Pacific.
However, this story is not one of fear, but one strength. Driven by the empowering words of Kevin Aipopo, a Black American and Samoan student leader, the film subverts the narrative of victimhood, painting this community “not as victims of the climate crisis but as the leaders, the healers, the nurturers, the artists, the gardeners, the growers, the seafarers and the navigators we are.”
Directed by: Aidan Haley, Canyon Woodward, Forest Woodward
Speech + writer: Kevin Aipopo
Creative direction + story + poetry: Fenton Lutunatabua
Pacific footage: Forest + Canyon Woodward
Climate rally footage: Aeon Visual / Zeke Jones
Audio Post Production: Ridgeline Sound
Music: Julian Calor – “Desperation”
With special thanks to:
Koreti Mavaega Tiumalu and family
The Pacific Climate Warriors family
The Pacific Islander Student Alliance
Faitofi (Dobby) Pusinelli and family
Kevika Kemangu and family
Rurunteiti Kaiarake and family
The late Pusinelli Lafai and family
Rev. Tevasa Iakopo
all our Tuvalu friends and particularly the island communities of Vaitupu, Nui, Nukufetau, and Funafuti
We also gratefully acknowledge the Multnomah, Wasco, Cowlitz, Kathlamet, Clackamas, Bands of Chinook, Tualatin, Kalapuya, and Molalla peoples, among others, on whose homelands parts of this film were made.