Act of War

Act of War

Produced by Nā Maka o ka ʻĀina

Act of War: this hour-long documentary is a provocative look at a historical event of which few Americans are aware. In mid-January, 1893, armed troops from the U.S.S. Boston landed at Honolulu in support of a treasonous coup d’etat against the constitutional sovereign of the Hawaiian Kingdom, Queen Lili’uokalani. The event was described by U.S. President Grover Cleveland as “an act of war.”


Stylized re-enactments, archival photos and film, political cartoons, historic quotes and presentations by Hawaiian scholars tell Hawaiian history through Hawaiian eyes.


Produced in association with the Center for Hawaiian Studies, University of Hawai’i. Featuring historians and scholars Haunani-Kay Trask, Lilikala Kame’eleihiwa, Kekuni Blaisdell and Jonathan Osorio.


Act of War – The Overthrow of the Hawaiian Nation was one of the first productions funded by the fledgling Independent Television Service in late 1991. With supplemental funding from Native American Public Telecommunications, then called the Native American Public Broadcasting Consortium, the production was completed in 1993.


It was broadcast on Hawai’i Public Television during the centennial year of the overthrow of Queen Lili’uokalani, a landmark year in the Hawaiian movement for sovereignty and independence.


In that same year, the U.S. Congress passed a joint resolution admitting the illegal taking of Hawai’i and formally apologizing to the Hawaiian people. President Clinton signed the resolution in November of 1993.


The program has since been aired on 93 public television stations.


Produced and directed by Puhipau and Joan Lander of Nā Maka o ka ʻAina


If you would like to support the archival work of Nā Maka o ka ʻAina and purchase this DVD or others like it, please go here.

ʻŌiwi TV reaches across generations, socio-economic statuses, and geographic locations as the sole media venue where the Hawaiian language, culture and perspective thrive. Through Digital Channel 326, ʻŌiwi TV reaches over 220,000 households across the entire State via Oceanic Time Warner Cable’s network. Through its website, mobile, and social media venues, ʻŌiwi TV is reaching Hawaiians everywhere and engaging a generation of Hawaiians that expect to access anything and everything from anywhere at anytime.


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  2. HUH HAWAI'I ALOHA AINA 7 years ago

    If it’s war, it’s war! Research Orador-sur-glane, see how the French sabotage their illegal occupiers and then read about the French revolution and how the French Killed all the corrupt politicians….. Oh what awesome reads

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  9. Areej 3 years ago

    Have you ever visited Qatar?

  10. Michael 2 years ago

    Mahalo for making this available to watch for free. As a high school teacher here on Oʻahu, I have used it as a resource for my students in my Modern History of Hawaii class for several years now.

  11. Laurence Jackson 2 years ago

    Mahalo, this is a very insightful and somber documentary about the overthrow the Hawaiian Kingdom government. I firmly believe this is a great learning platform to continue to educate present and future generations.

  12. Trevor Buote 8 months ago

    I think that the documentary made me feel upset that the Hawaiian monarchy was unrightfully overthrown. The thing that stuck out to me was that she the plantation owners never tried to negotiate with the queen with changes to the constitutions before taking over. I think that the queen should have been given back her power because they agreed that it was wrong so why weren’t they arrested. I think that in current time the best the U.S. can do is maybe lower taxes for them because they were never meant to be under our control in the first place. And they could help then achieve housing in Hawaii because most were not given he best homes


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