Welcome to the
South Pacific

These short documentary films share personal stories from the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia

Exploring through the power of personal stories

This series delves into Marquesan culture by listening to the stories people want to tell about their lives. From one person to the next, these films explore tradition, colonization, loss, and joy in the Marquesas Islands of French Polynesia.

Episode One with Debora Kimitete: We visit the sacred site of Koueva on Nuku Hiva, a site dedicated to Debora’s husband, Lucien. He was critical to the resurgence of Marquesan culture, and he disappeared without a trace in an airplane crash in 2002.

Episode Two with Nicolas Haiti: On Nuku Hiva, the Haiti family runs a coconut drying oven that supports the livelihoods of 50 local families. As we watch each step of the process, Nicolas shows us that work, and a sense of home, can be found on the land itself.

Episode Three with Teiki Huukena: From his first tattoo at the age of 14, Teiki has been studying Patutiki (Marquesan tattoo), including the traditional symbols and their correct placement on the body. His own skin is a record of this journey.

Episode Four in Hapatoni: Tehautetua Tauhiro and his family are the cultural guardians of their valley. Through daily activities, art, and music, this generation of leaders demonstrates the power of strengthening culture by sharing it.

Nuku Hiva overview

Nuku Hiva overview

Jul 9, 20181 min read
An overview of somewhere new. Getting ready to explore Nuku Hiva, Marquesas, French Polynesia. Do you see the road down there?
Harsh paradise

Harsh paradise

Jul 3, 20181 min read
Many outsiders think of these islands, the coral atolls of French Polynesia, as paradise, but there is no escaping the harsh conditions here. Although I LOVE to swim, I have never really explored the underwater world. Here, it was more than beauty that called to me from below the surface, it was a curiousity about…
Marquesas arrival

Marquesas arrival

Jun 27, 20181 min read
Welcome to the Marquesas! I hope these islands will blow your mind the way they are blowing mine. It’s just too much to start with colour, so I’m easing you in with an almost black & white. We are way out in the South Pacific, on the edge of French Polynesia. Kaoha! Bonjour! A place…
This little piggy

This little piggy

Jun 25, 20181 min read
We came to this atoll to take a break from the towns, but when we saw some small buildings in the distance, Eric and I took a zodiac over to check them out. We found two people working their coconut grove: harvesting coconuts and drying them. We stopped for a visit and met a little…
Perched on the ocean

Perched on the ocean

Jun 24, 20181 min read
These islands, the Tuamotus, lie so low and shine so bright. Each one makes a hoop on the ocean — circular from above, but long and linear from water level. So beautiful and so harsh. A perch from which to return to the ocean.
Apataki atoll

Apataki atoll

Jun 23, 20181 min read
Racing the pass at Apataki on the National Geographic Orion.