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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Political > History > Economy > Hawaii's Last Queen (American Experience)

Hawaii’s Last Queen (American Experience)


Picture: C+     Sound: B-     Extras: C-     Film: B-



Another piece of hidden history is uncovered in the PBS/WGBH American Experience installment Hawaii’s Last Queen, a recent hour-long installment of the show about how Hawaii was its own country until geopolitics entered the picture and The United States landed up intervening in the countries affairs in competition with Japan and China to have control of what is considered the U.S. sphere of influence.  This was at the turn of the last century, when Queen Lili’uokalani took over ruling the country that once had a population of 600,000.  Between disease, health problems among the natives and other unfortunate events, the population dwindled thanks to smallpox, which they were more susceptible to than Europeans were.


The question is if The U.S. was a villain or if the whole world simply tore the country apart and the U.S. managed to win out over the competitors.  After the nearly hour-long program, geopolitics turns out to be the reason in this case, plus some unfortunate things the Queen and her predecessors did that were meant to help and backfired.  It is a sad chapter in world history either way.  As for those who want o point the finger at the U.S. (especially when on automatic pilot) for the world’s ills, let’s just say it is no happenstance or coincidence that when part of the Axis Of Evil, the Japanese in Imperialist mode specifically bombed Pearl Harbor for a symbolic reason.  Be sure to catch this installment.


The 1.33 X 1 image is a little soft and has the usual mix of stills, old film footage and new interview and scenery footage.  It is one of the last of the line of such TV productions and plays back fine for what it is.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo has enough Pro-Logic surrounds throughout and is nicely recorded.  Except for the usual DVD-ROM printable materials and a weblink, there are no major extras.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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