Becoming A Chief

Kimberlee Bassford – Making Waves Films

After living in Hawaiʻi for a decade, pioneering Samoan writer Sia Figiel returns to her natal village to claim her mother’s chiefly title. However, she realizes she must first learn to manage her manic depression and diabetes, to mend the rifts from childhood trauma and her recent suicide attempt, and to carefully navigate the protocols of her culture. Through inti-mate observational footage and interviews, impressionistic animation and scripted scenes of her work, Becoming a Chief tells this story of healing, forgiveness and self-acceptance and shows the importance of health–mental, physical and spiritual–to the strength of the individual and community.


In production