Eating Up Easter

Eating Up Easter

2020-2021 Independent Lens Film Season

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Eating Up Easter – More than just a picture-perfect postcard of iconic stone statues, Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island, is a microcosm of a planet in flux. Directed by native Rapa Nui filmmaker Sergio Mata’u Rapu, Eating Up Easter explores the challenges his people are facing, and the intergenerational fight to preserve their culture and a beloved environment against a backdrop of a modernizing society and a booming tourism trade.

Premieres Monday, May 25th

PBS Online Screening
Tune In | May 25, 2020

Eating Up Easter Premieres on Independent Lens Monday, May 25, 2020 on PBS. To learn more, visit the website.

About the Film

More than just a picture-perfect postcard of iconic stone statues, Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island, is a microcosm of a planet in flux. Directed by native Rapa Nui filmmaker Sergio Mata’u Rapu, Eating Up Easter explores the challenges his people are facing, and the intergenerational fight to preserve their culture and a beloved environment against a backdrop of a modernizing society and a booming tourism trade.

Crafted as a story passed down to his newborn son, Rapu intertwines the authentic history of the island with the stories of four islanders, crafting a moving portrait of a society striving to keep step with the rest of the world while maintaining its own unique identity, and asking the next generation, “what will be left for you?”

Stories of Native Rapa Nui Portray Intergenerational Efforts to Preserve Easter Island’s Culture and Environment in the Face of Rapid Modernization and Globalization


About the Filmmaker

Native Rapanui producer/director Sergio Mata’u Rapu is the only Easter Islander working in production in an English-speaking country. He has spent the last 15 years shooting and producing documentaries that have aired on History Channel, Travel Channel, National Geographic, and NOVA. Through his work, Sergio aims to show the diversity of life through thought-provoking media to inspire resolutions to social, economic, and environmental conflicts.

Elena Rapu (producer/writer) is an anthropologist and filmmaker. She received her MA in Anthropology from SUNY Binghamton, specializing in the Pacific. She has 15 years of experience on Easter Island working in archaeology, hospitality, and tourism. She is passionate about exploring the complex realities faced by living cultures as they grow and change in a globalized world.


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Indie Lens Pop-Up is a WSIU media project that brings people together for film screenings and community-driven conversations. The project, which features documentaries from the PBS hit series Independent Lens, draws local residents together to discuss newsworthy topics to family, relationships, and more. These screenings are free and open to the public.