Eating Up Easter
In order to survive on an island, a community must live in a fragile balance between what they have and what they need.
- Sergio Mata'u Rapu
- Elena GK Rapu
- Full-Length Film
- Subject Matter
- Community Portrait, Environment & Sustainability
- 60 Minutes
In order to survive on an island, a community must live in a fragile balance between what they have and what they need. Easter Island (Rapa Nui), known for the ancient stone statues that line its shores, was once a sustainable community that struck that balance. But today, increasing tourism, unregulated importation of goods, and the depletion of the local resources has forced the inhabitants to fight for a balance again. We follow three islanders in their quest to preserve Easter Island’s unique essence and culture, its practices of sustainability, and its natural environment. As they work to reunite their community, we realize they are facing the same challenges, on a much smaller scale, that plague the entire planet.
Eating Up Easter is a recipient of R&D, Production, and Completion funding from PIC's Media Fund.
SERGIO MATA’U RAPU – Producer / Director / Co-Writer
Sergio was born on Rapa Nui (Easter Island) and raised there and in Hawai`i. He studied Film & Television production at Loyola Marymount University before launching into a career in the industry that has culminated in a slew of independent films, documentaries, and projects for PBS, NatGeo, NOVA, History Channel, and Discovery. Sergio currently works as a producer & creative director in the US and the Pacific, while providing production services to international productions on Rapa Nui. He is also the owner of Mara Films, a transmedia production company that uses innovative platforms to produce engaging experiences with a focus on culture, people, and place. Through his work, Sergio aims to provide a voice for the Rapanui and other indigenous peoples. In doing so, he hopes these stories will educate and inspire his audience to think beyond their own lives and experience the world through the eyes of indigenous cultures.
ELENA GK RAPU - Associate Producer
Elena holds an MA in Anthropology with a focus in biological anthropology in the Pacific from SUNY Binghamton. She has over 10 years of experience on Rapa Nui, not only in her own research, but also as a guide and lecturer, and part-time manager of a local hotel. Her experience on the island provides her with first hand knowledge of the issues facing Rapa Nui, while being able to look at those challenges from the perspectives of an American citizen and an anthropologist. She met filmmaker Sergio M. Rapu on the island in 2003 while doing archaeological fieldwork. Since that time they have made it their goal to produce educational and cultural material about the island for both tourists and the islanders. This is her first documentary film project.
Rapa Nui is known all over the world by the giant stone statues that speckle its landscape – but today the Rapanui people, the descendants of those ancient carvers who created the figures, do not appear in those colorful tourist brochures. Increasing fascination with the “mysteries” of this island has led the living culture of Rapa Nui to seemingly disappear from the worldview. The intention of this film is to not only re-introduce this rich culture to the world audience, but also to show that the problems being faced on a remote island in the middle of the Pacific are very much the same ones that are being faced in a rural American town today. Though distance and language may divide our cultures, we human beings are all the same.