The controversial film about Princess Ka'iulani, shot in part at 'Iolani Palace, is going to be showcased Oct. 16 at the Hawaii International Film Festival.
I am surprised, but yes, after much debate, producers decided that it will be called "Barbarian Princess" in stark contrast to who she was. Many of us have been under the impression that a new title was in the works after the protests in April of last year. Because of much confusion, please let me be clear: this is a different film script from "Ka'iulani - The Island Rose" - a different production company altogether. Read about our Ka'iulani Project and her upcoming Birthday Festival - Lahaina Royal Ho'ike.I can't comment on their script, as I haven't read it. However, I do believe that their point in using the word 'barbarian', is to illustrate just how wrong the American newspapers were back in 1893. The fact that Ka'iulani was referred to as a barbarian in newspapers (which she was), confirms the fact that the US was receiving incorrect information about both Queen Liliuokalani and Princess Ka'iulani. It was humiliating for Ka'iulani then, and it's agonizing for us today, to hear the word 'barbarian' in association with this beautiful soul. The point is, Ka'iulani was the antithesis of a barbarian - a "flower of civilization" with an education of the highest order - that is the point the film makers are trying to make.
Many people in Hawaii, however, are concerned that the ironic title will be too easily misunderstood, and that the world won't 'get it'.