Rapa Nui

Synopsis: Tenuously based on the legends of Easter Island, Chile, this story details a civil war between the two tribes on the island: the Long Ears and the Short Ears. A warrior from the ruling class falls in love with a girl from the lower class, and must decide on his position in a time of great civil unrest. The ruling class are demanding larger and larger Moai (stone statues), a task which the lower class and the island ecology are more and more reluctant to provide.
Director(s): Kevin Reynolds
Production: Warner Home Video
  1 win & 1 nomination.
107 min

Fifteen hundred years ago a small band

of Polynesian voyagers discovered

...one of the most remote

islands on earth.

And began a mystery

that still endures.

The band and their chief,

Hotu Matu'a,

Settled the lush oasis, and were

lost to the world for the next 1,000 years.

European sailors rediscovered the

island and named it Easter Island.

The Europeans found a barren,

treeless place,

Inhabited by numerous warring clans

And the gigantic stone statues

built over centuries

As a form of ancestor worship.

Hotu Matu'a's descendants called the island

Navel of the World, Rapa Nui.

And centuries of isolation

had convinced them

They were the only people

left on earth.

Still, no one knows why the

statues were so large,

Or why work on them suddenly ceased.

But legend speaks of a terrible

conflict between the clans

A few decades before the Europeans



The Ariki-mau wants to see you.


- It's hard to say.

- The truth.

I would if I could, but the signs

are neither good nor bad.

- We should look again later.

- I must know when, Tupa.

Try something else.

The smoke.

Yes, Ariki.

Matua tane.

Your cousin Epe, by

My wife Auareipua,

Has fallen while training for

the Birdman competition.

That's his body lying

Before the ahu.

You must take his place.


It's what the signs command,

According to Tupa.

But I'm not ready yet.

I Know. But there's no one else.

They're all gone,

dead, except you.

So, Noroinia,

The priests of the Miru clan

Invite you to compete for

the first egg.

The first egg at Orongo

When Hotu Matu'a

Sends his birds

In the spring.

Will you swim for me

The Ariki-mau

The reigning Birdman?


Tell the other Long Ears

There's no use

Choosing swimmers,

Because Noro will win, making me

Birdman for the 20th year.

It's finished, Ariki-mau.

Will you give your approval?


Build another.

Take the rest of the

day off, Heke.


May I ask,

How does this moai

displease the gods?

It's too small.

Take the ropes.

The ropes.

Bring it down.



Koreto, have you seen Ramana?

Look what I brought her.

You know where she is.

When the morning star

Is two hands above the horizon in

midsummer, that's due west.

They knew the currents far

out at sea?

They'd strip, jump into the water

and feel it with their


My father is descended from

Hotu Matu'a's navigator.

He should know.

Why does no one else know?

It's not important to them.

They only think of the moai.

Marry me.

- They'd never allow it.

- Why not?

They won't allow it. Grandfather

must give me something if I compete.

Noro, I'm Short Ear.

I love you.

What about in a year?

When people talk?

They say I just want to be Long Ear.

They say I just want you for this.

Is that true?

I want you for my wife.

- Have you told Make?

- Not yet.

Get up, Short Ear.

- You have six moons.

- Priest, that's impossible!

The last moai took 6 moons.

And it wasn't half as big!

Stop work on all other moai.

But even then

Should I find

Another master carver?

It must be done before the

Birdman competition.


What was wrong with the last one?

You'll kill us!

How will we move it?

Old man.

Old man!

What is this?

This fish

Is taboo.

It's the Ariki-mau's fish until the next moon.

No one is allowed to

Catch it till then.

These rules are for everyone's benefit.

Aren't they?

Aren't they?

It was in the net with

the other fish.

It was drowned.

I was bringing it to the Ariki-mau.

We'd never eat taboo fish.

- Would kill us.

- Yes. We know that!

You broke a taboo.

Six moons!

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