From John Fusco, the writer of Young Guns, this is a true life story of the Leper War on Kaua’i is depicted in this chilling and moving film.
The Wind and the Reckoning reveals the real-life story of a Native Hawaiian ranching family that defies the oppressive new colonial government and faces down American mercenaries rather than have their freedoms callously ripped away. For the first time in a feature film, one of the most epic events in Hawaiian history, the Battle of Kalalau, unfolds through the eyes of the islands’ indigenous people.
After the overthrow of Hawai’i’s traditional monarchy by American land barons in 1893, leprosy, carried to the islands by foreigners, spreads rapidly through the vulnerable indigenous population. Driven by racism, fear and greed, the newly declared republic’s president orders all Native Hawaiians suspected of being infected forcibly removed from their communities and permanently exiled to Kalaupapa, a remote colony on the island of Moloka’i, their marriages legally dissolved and property distributed to their heirs. But when Ko’olau (Jason Scott Lee), a well-known and respected cowboy, and his young son Kaleimanu (Kahiau Perreira) refuse to be separated from their home and wife and mother after contracting the disease, a confrontation with armed police leaves a sheriff dead. Ko’olau, his wife Pi’ilani (Lindsay Marie Anuhea Watson) and Kaleimanu flee to an isolated valley on their home island of Kaua’i, where they survive with a small band of other infected Hawaiians. When the provisional government dispatches a ruthless Civil War commander (Henry Ian Cusick) and a group of battle-hardened mercenaries to pursue him, a sympathetic marshal (Johnathon Schaech) tries to broker peace, but the victims resist in a revolt that will
transform Ko’olau and Pi’ilani into legendary Hawaiian heroes.
Inspired by the writing of Pi’ilani, directed by David L. Cunningham (To End All Wars and Beyond Paradise) and written by John Fusco (Young Guns, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, Hidalgo), with dialogue predominantly in the Native Hawaiian language, The Wind and the Reckoning brings to cinematic life an inspiring story set against a dark and painful period in Hawai’i’s history.
BTS clip of the cast and crew discussing working together during the pandemic, how it affected them, and the similarities of the story they were telling to what they were experiencing in real life.
Video clip with Henry Ian Cusick as Captain McCabe and John Schaech as Marshall Hitchcock.
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