When the moon sees the sun 2019

Jeremy Leatinu’u’s When the Moon Sees the Sun (2019), commissioned by the Honolulu Biennial Foundation, was inspired by the death of his koroua (grandfather). Told in six parts, the film’s structure is based around the stanzas of a waiata (song) Leatinu’u composed in the Māori language. When the Moon Sees the Sun plays like a heartbeat as Leatinu’u, who is of Ngāti Maniapoto and Sāmoan heritage, recites the waiata in English, each stanza recounting thoughts of their koroua from a different family member’s perspective. With cinematography by Ian Powell, this exquisite film features close-up shots of a bulb being planted and the rhythmic movements of the artist’s newborn baby’s chest. When the Moon Sees the Sun speaks of our enduring commitment to future generations, ensuring that what we leave for them is an improvement on what we inherited. – Matariki Williams from her review Change to Come: 40 Years of Māori Artists and the Moving Image.

Cinematography: Ian Powell / Commissioned work for the Honolulu Biennial 2019