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Leitis in Waiting

Country: USA, Language: English, 72 mins

  • Director: Dean Hamer; Joe Wilson; Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu
  • Producer: Dean Hamer; Joe Wilson; Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu

CGiii Comment

Obviously, Dean Hamer & Joe Wilson realised that there was more to the story than their 2017 short film - Lady Eva - told.

Thank goodness they did...because, these stories need to be the scourge of christian fundamentalism [an imported religion] has systematically tried and [thankfully] failed to eradicate a people, a way of life...because, that 'way' and these 'people' do not 'fit' into their bashed-bible idyll of sanctimonious, discriminatory, hate-fuelled piety. When will this religious arrogance end?!? Not until the day when [global] religious denouncement arrives!!!

Whatever happened to: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself?!? These evangelicals hold onto to their rule-book with vice-like grips...but, subjectively ignore quite a few of the 'rules' found therein! Live and let shower of idiots!

Oooh there's nothing quite like a good rant...

Thankfully, Leitis in Waiting is not all 'fire and brimstone' - it's also about support and the face of toxic masculinity and religious adversity...with a twist! Leitis provide service to the wider community...and, to the Royal Court...members of the Royal family even participate [most supportively] in the film! If Leitis are good enough for Royalty, they are good enough for everyone...stick that in your gripped bibles!

There is sadness...and, there is joy. The film culminates with a beauty pageant like no other...this is a pageant that allows each and all to let off steam, a safe place where everyone can be who they are...rather than it [just] being a beauty is a beautiful pageant that emboldens and embraces all that we should all hold dear...individualism and diversity!


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The(ir) Blurb...

LEITIS IN WAITING is the story of Joey Mataele and the Tonga leitis, an intrepid group of native transgender women fighting a rising tide of religious fundamentalism and intolerance in their South Pacific Kingdom. The film follows Joey, a devout Catholic of noble descent, as she organizes an exuberant beauty pageant presided over by a princess, provides shelter and training for a young contestant rejected by her family, and spars with American-financed evangelicals threatening to resurrect colonial-era laws that criminalize the leitis' lives.

With extraordinary access to the Kingdom's royals and religious leaders, Joey’s emotional journey reveals what it means to be different in a society ruled by tradition, and what it takes to be accepted without forsaking culture and tradition. Emmy Award-winning directors Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson (KUMU HINA) along with story creator Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, herself a Polynesian transgender woman who once won the crown in Joey's beauty pageant, bring unexpected humor and insight to the inspiring story of Pacific people who must be true to themselves no matter the cost.