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Classics and discoveries from around the world, thematically programmed with special features, on a streaming service brought to you by the Criterion Collection.
Mauna Kea: Temple Under Siege
Directed by Joan Lander and Puhipau • 2005 • United States
Although the mountain volcano Mauna Kea last erupted around 4,000 years ago, it is still hot today, the center of a burning controversy over whether its summit should be used for astronomical observatories or preserved as a cultural landscape sacred to the Hawaiian people. For five years the documentary production team Nā Maka o ka ‘Āina (“the eyes of the land”) captured on video the seasonal moods of Mauna Kea’s unique 14,000-foot summit, the richly varied ecosystems that extend from sea level to alpine zone, the legends and stories that reveal the mountain’s geologic and cultural history, and the political turbulence surrounding the efforts to protect the most significant temple in the islands, the mountain itself.