Greetings again from the darkness. Filmmaker Alika Maikau effectively captures a heart-breaking and tense scene that has played out in most every community across the globe. A young man pulls up in front of a school and tells a waiting student that his mom sent him for pick-up. The boy is suspicious, but not alarmed.
It’s immediately obvious from the banter between man and boy that they know each other, however it requires the full 9 minute run time before we understand the full picture. Kainoa (Holden Mandrial-Santos) is desperately trying to connect with the younger Jonathan (Austin Tucker in his first on screen appearance). Generational difference are clear through the boy’s cell phone video games and the unfamiliar-to-the-other catchphrases each uses. The boy puts on a show of toughness for the man, trying his best to show independence and strength … not an easy task when you can’t fix your own broken flip-flop, and your defensive shield fades over a bag of red licorice.
When Jonathan’s mother (Danielle Zalopany) arrives on the scene, the pieces come together and we fully understand the emotions. “He’s my boy too” is a phrase that carries the weight of all three involved. Excellent filmmaking with touches of Hawaiian culture.