Fight for the Land - The Walter Ritte Story
At the age of 30, Walter Ritte was jobless and struggling to feed his wife and children on the Island of Molokai. Arable lands were hoarded by pineapple companies, hunting grounds were restricted by foreign landowners, and Native Hawaiians were marginalized by an imposing American system. Ritte chose to break the law to put food on his family’s table. This first rebellious step launched him into a lifetime of activism and set him on a personal path to understanding his identity as a Native Hawaiian.
Now in his 70s, Ritte is an icon among Hawaiian activists and is known far beyond the islands for his unwavering defense of Hawaii's environment and natural resources. His sometimes controversial actions have gained him both passionate supporters and fierce opponents. Few, however, will deny that Ritte has played a critical role in advancing environmental protection and Native Rights in Hawaii.
This documentary will be an intimate portrait of Ritte's turbulent early years and his birth as an activist. It will look back at Walter’s evolution from hotheaded rebel to seasoned community organizer. By exploring deeply personal reflections and the recollections of his closest supporters and detractors, this film will give rare insight into the private life of a contentious public figure. Walter’s story will also provide a unique window into the genesis of the Native Hawaiian Movement and how it reshaped modern Hawaii.
The film will be a 1-hour documentary intended for National broadcast on PBS. We have put together a highly creative and diverse team of filmmakers to insure that the story provides unique and balanced perspective along with creative and engaging storytelling.
This project has received major funding from: