They’re very wise indeed

By Mata'afa Keni Lesa 27 February 2016, 12:00AM

So in the midst of all the election hype, drama and madness, along came a much-needed reprieve in the form of a feature film.

That’s right, we’re talking about those “Three Wise Cousins” who are apparently wiser than some of the biggest movie titles in the world, according to some box office figures out of New Zealand last week. Wow.

Unlike the many empty promises of many of the election candidates, this movie actually delivers on its word to entertain, relate and to provide humour. 

If early reviews are anything to go by, this film has a bright future ahead of it, and possibly a game changer for its young director, cast and crew.

And the timing to screen it in Samoa is perfect.

Just when everyone needs a break from words like monotaga, court cases, and whatnot, this movie has provided much relief and distraction. 

It has also stirred up feelings of patriotism and appreciation of all things Samoan at a time when that needs to happen. 

Folks, there is absolutely no doubt about it. Now and again, we need to be reminded that despite all its imperfections and shortcomings, this country can truly be a great one, at least when it comes to the arts and entertainment.

This is not the first time that Samoan creativity and humour has been showcased on the international stage to a worldwide audience.

We’ve had Sione’s Wedding, The Orator, The Laughing Samoans and many other wonderful films and shows.

And now, this is the Three Wise Cousins’ moment in the limelight and they deserve all the recognition and accolades they are receiving now.  

But what this film has done is reinforce the notion that the film industry involving Samoans is definitely on the rise and it is a force to be reckoned with. It has been gaining momentum for some time now and it is exciting to think about when it will reach its full potential.

Samoa and things Samoan certainly have a place in the market. It’s a tough one to crack but some of our very own filmmakers have been hammering it over the years so that today, the very simple truth is this. If there are people in the Pacific who can make something for the world to sit up and take notice, yep you guessed it, it’s us. 

This should augur well for aspiring directors, actors, cinematographers etc.who will finally get the respect and support they deserve especially in terms of funding. 

Speaking of funding, the hardworking crew of Three Wise Cousins managed to pull it off on a shoestring budget. Even more interesting is the fact that it was self-funded. 

Mind you there was a reason for that, according to Director, Stallone Vaiaoga Ioasa.

 “I don’t think I would have been able to make it the way it is without it being self-funded,” he said. “To come to Samoa and have these Samoans lead, I wouldn’t have had that control. So for me it was about creative control.”

Well, talk about under promising and over delivering. We need more of these kinds of stories. We say this because we know these kinds of projects are not easy to pull together. They warrant financial backing and assistance – often in hundreds of thousands - that would allow people with the creative capacity to make these projects come to life on the big screen. 

It is certainly something for our tourism industry – especially the people with the purse strings – to think about and consider.

In the meantime, we want to say that Samoan humour and stories definitely have a place in the creative world. We should all help to ensure that this continues to be the case, one way or another. 

We pay homage to all those who have led the way in this area and who have never given up despite the struggles and the challenges. The final product is well worth it in the end.  

In the case of ‘The Three Wise Cousins’ they’re not just wise, they’re bloody awesome. So well done Stallone, Fesui, Vito, Neil and all your crew! Have a safe weekend Samoa, God bless!


By Mata'afa Keni Lesa 27 February 2016, 12:00AM

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