HOLLYWOOD HULA ::: Pacific Islander Film Hui

Morning Comes So Soon

Posted in Film by hollywoodhula on July 9, 2008

Marshall Islands Movie

Romeo & Juliet on Majuro

A love story about a Marshallese boy and a Chinese girl is the first feature film from the Marshall Islands.

Morning Comes So Soon was made by a pair of American volunteer high school teachers at Majuro’s Catholic Assumption High School, working with a local peer education group, with a grant from UNESCO.

The directors, Aaron Condon and Mike Cruz, cast local people in the film about teens grappling with racism and suicide on the small central Pacific atoll. The film stars high school seniors Ting Yu Lin and James Bing III.

The movie has been a huge hit in Majuro where thousands of Marshallese packed the local cinema with multiple showings daily during May.

The film deals with social pressures resulting from Chinese immigration to Majuro in late 1990s.

Morning Comes So Soon has its international premier at the first Pacific Islands Film Festival at Honolulu’s Design Center on 12 July 08, and is available on DVD via mail order.

Buy the DVD at Bikini Atoll Online Store

Pacific Magazine reports from Majuro:
Marshalls Film On Racism, Suicide Draws Crowds
Marshalls Movie To Play At Hawaii Film Festival

Honolulu Advertiser says:

… “Morning Comes So Soon” looms as the fledgling festival’s most important selection, said the man who chose them, Vilsoni Hereniko. It offers a perspective of the Pacific that has never been explored before on the screen.

“This is the first feature film from the Marshall Islands that uses Marshallese in the lead roles … This allows people from within the culture and the society to tell their own stories and to kind of examine themselves in a way that is, I think, very delicate … There is no film that I know of that focuses on racial issues between Pacific Islanders and Asians,” said Hereniko, a filmmaker and professor at the Center for Pacific Islands Studies.”

24 Responses

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  1. Tony said, on July 10, 2008 at 9:49 pm

    No trailer?!? id love to see this film. pls someone give me some info!!

  2. hollywoodhula said, on July 11, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    Us too! We’ll work on it …

  3. Tara Condon said, on July 21, 2008 at 1:33 am

    Hi, you can email the man who made the film @
    smallifilms@gmail.com or aaron@condonfamilymission.com


  4. 94bloc'boi08 said, on July 27, 2008 at 5:09 am

    hey ya’ll…this movie is my all time favorite now…
    seen it and can’t stop watching it…
    i really love how they put most of the marshallese people’s perspective on how they see the Chinese in the Marshall Islands…
    you can e-mail me if you want to watch the movie and maybe we can set a day and time to watch it together..
    it’s a pretty fun movie to…LOL if you want…
    “seriously speaking,” i LOVE DiS MOViE KRAZiLY..
    MAii CONTACT… lmoreang12@hotmail.com, mydc512@yahoo.com

  5. Browser said, on August 1, 2008 at 10:13 am

    I didn’t a chance to see this film while visiting Majuro back in May….it was a big deal and I can see why. I finally saw it the other day and I thought the story line and plot was well put together for a low budget film, not bad at all. However, there was a flaw I thought the Director and the Producer should’ve cut out completely or not allow, and that was when the boys were playing cards in the classroom and couple of them were chewing and spitting into the water bottle, I thought that was disgusting and gross, very unprofessional and inappropriate at all, but overall I liked it. Big bravo to the Director and Producer for being so focused on the main topic of this film. I especially love the accentric emotions performed by each actors, really make this film unique, dramatic and worth it.

  6. Alex said, on August 12, 2008 at 10:00 am

    I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you down the road!

  7. angela said, on August 16, 2008 at 1:05 am

    hey really do love dis film..can someone sent me a copy..?nikky its me angie i cannot believe that film is one ov a classic to me naw…LOVe it..!!

  8. Julia said, on August 16, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    wow..lUv thIs movie..i saW it…i m teLlIng U tHAt i CrY..Sooo SAd….i PlaY oVeR ANd Over….

  9. Mina said, on August 18, 2008 at 11:15 am

    OMG!!! Gr8 job to all who put this movie together.
    I thought i was watching a Korean Drama when I first saw this movie. Now this movie is like a cigarette that you smoke, smokeless tobacco that you chew or a favorite internet website that you can’t stop surfing.

  10. Uproblyknobutdontrealize said, on August 22, 2008 at 1:20 am

    I haven’t seen this movie yet….I have the dvd but I guess I’m just saving it for a rainy sunday afternoon. I have no girlfriend and I kind of don’t to watch it alone for obvious reasons. I mean, what if I cry? There’d be no one to witness my sensitive side and it’d just be a wasted effort. Nope, I’m savin’ my tears as I hear that this film has serious date-movie potential. Actually how could that be true? Isn’t the film itself about racism and suicide with a love story attached to it to hold our easily diverted attentions? Well I guess Romeo and Juliet had a similar design. So I guess the real reason I don’t want to watch it alone is that I’m afraid the storyline would be so powerful that it would draw me into a constant state of depression which would ultimately lead to an untimely death. Could a film have such raw influence? I guess we’re just going to have to watch to find out. I’ll let you know….or not.

  11. emma said, on August 22, 2008 at 1:50 am

    This film was very good. i saw it at the filmfestival and at the end they said that they were going to show it again for all of those who didnt get the chance to see it, but really wanted to. morning comes so soon portrays the truth of how the marshallese are dealing with life now. i hope that they won’t just stop with this film, but really look into the real lives of the marshallese and catch that too. not just because its interesting, but to understand.
    love the film, even got it on dvd. 🙂

  12. meme said, on August 23, 2008 at 4:28 pm

    I’ve heard of the great success this film has had so far. So much in fact that I’ve decided to create my own spin-off. It’s going to be titled “Morning Comes In the Afternoon”, and it’s about an alcoholic dude who faces many of the same issues that were touched in the motion picture from which it is derived from. It’ll have the same ending. In fact it’s basically going to be the same movie sans the mushy love stuff. On top of that, the film will stay true to the MCSS franchise by keeping the elements that made the movie such a huge success. If you thought the first one was low budget. This movie is going to be shot with my camera phone in order to insure that every scene is captured as raw and true as possible. I thank Aaron Condon and Mike Cruz as well as all the actors for the inspiration. I also thank Heineken and Vodka for making it happen.

  13. chantallier said, on August 29, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    Now I saw what the buzz around town was about.After meeting one of the actor who visited Seattle about a week ago, I thought I just have to see it. Matter of fact he encouraged me to see it.
    This is a great movie that ensures great topic. Racism and suicidal! I love the fact that the whole aspect of the movie was in focused. GUDOS to the Director & Producer for this fabulous masterpiece, and a big BRAVO to the actors and actresses for a job well-done. You all should brag about this raving piece of work you all proudly did and accomplished, and mostly won the heart of many. Keep up the good work. Hoping for more awesome film/movies in the near future?

  14. Leroy Tiberke said, on September 11, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    hey, this movie is awesome…i wish you could make another one about Marshallese history….The time when the Marshallese ancestors fought for land……

  15. Islandgirl said, on September 29, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    I thought the Marshall Islanders makes innocent fun, like calling out chinese people. But I didn’t realized their true colours! I’m myself married to a half chinese/Khmer guy and have two children. I’m very proud of it! This movie was a great idea to stop racist! Marshall Islanders are the good-hearted people =) !!! Great MOVIE! I’d like to get a copy of it one day. Does anybody know where I get find one, besides watching youtube.com? The whole film?

  16. hollywoodhula said, on September 30, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    You can buy the DVD, plus extras, at:

  17. AdamBriceland said, on November 7, 2008 at 1:23 am

    i am a white boy who has many marshallese friends here in midwest united states, never lived in the islands, or nothing but only have marshallese friends, yea im very different and madly romantic, and even kno all the basics in marshallese, they teach me to speak, read and write in their language, i bought this movie off 1 of my friends for 10 dollars and thoguht it was the most romantic movie i seen since titanic, i recommend it to any1 of any race, male or female, young or old, great movie but i think the marshallese in it r very immature and disrespectful for being racist against chinese ppl or any race, wat is wrong with all of them ? wats the deal with the racism ?

  18. Minie said, on April 17, 2009 at 8:05 am

    hey tat is only on the movie…
    we are not racism….and that is not true…
    you just don’t understand…….tat racism jst came from the movie and not the real people on marshall is.
    i hope u go thea…

  19. cady said, on April 17, 2009 at 8:09 am

    wat is wrong wit people…tat movie is suppost to be popular..
    not about racism….and yes it is racism…and ur rit minie or wateva that
    name is…tat racism is only from the movie and not real..
    i love this movie and it is 1 of my lifetime favorite movie…

  20. karen said, on May 11, 2009 at 8:58 am

    ii soo love this movie it is soo the best….

  21. katlinda kios said, on August 27, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    yokwe,i like tat movie…..

  22. katlinda kios said, on August 27, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    yokwe kome ri-majol,ijje mour.ekwe ita in tita kios,juon leddrik in enewatak im arno…well the first think i like to sayed,is tat,i can not belive u guys make a romantic movie,i wish u guys can make more,the reason i sayed is bbecuz tat movie is popular.i can not belive marsalles people are da super star,,give it up…try make marshalles people in all island can happy,for marshalles culture…da reason i write this,is becuz let u guys know tat.the movie is so romantic to all couple,,especiacially does song from the move…..anij en kaijmarok mour..if u want to contack me,go to katty_kaino11,orcontact me at bebo.com,there is alkak07……luv yulls…..

  23. Meanalynn "MeMe" "Leila" said, on November 11, 2009 at 11:51 am

    OMG. Reading all this comment just drives me insane. I REALLY REALLY REALLY want to see this movie, but I live in a place where basically no islanders other than me and my sister, (my loser sister). People always assume I’m mexican or something I’ve never heard of and I tell them I’m a mix island baby. That always fascinate them. I need to see this movie like PRONTO. Is it on youtube or something? I’m going bananas since family members around the U.S are freaking blowing up my cell phone, house phone, emails, AND EVEN MY FRIENDS. Email me for info people…melody_peterz@hotmail.com. If I don’t see this movie, I’m so going to die.

  24. Al said, on December 10, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    I don’t like racism either, and nothing gets me angrier than someone dissing another group that is different from them, but I do believe the story here is complex, and worth investigating a bit more.

    As I understand, Chinese people first came to the Majuro when the Marshall Islands began selling passports (as a means of generating income), somewhere back in the 80s or 90s. Chinese citizens bought them, hoping to gain entrance to the U.S. through the compact of Free Association with the Republic of The Marshall Islands. The U.S. nixed this, but some still held Marshallese passports, which I believe led to Chinese citizens opening businesses on Majuro.

    Chinese have been able to gain control of much of the business sector on Majuro, possibly because it is easier for them to operate, not establishing credit for relations. This has caused resentment, as expressed in the movie, as there are already many young men without employment. And, as I have been told by numerous Marshallese friends here in Honolulu, the Chinese have brought prostitution to Majuro – hence the derogatory remarks directed at the young girl.

    Racism is ugly, and it’s not “right,” but gaining an understanding of the issues and addressing them is more constructive than simply criticizing the situation. I believe this film is an initial, and admirable, attempt at addressing the issue of racism, and also that of young male suicides, which has been an issue since long before Chinese people began moving in. And I don’t think the film is blaming Chinese people, but rather attempting to portray a complex situation.

    It might be good to point out too that the Chinese family, particularly the brother, were not very friendly to the Marshallese people either. He may have his reasons, but it is also an aspect that needs to be considered.

    I am Caucasian, living in Honolulu. I have lived in the Marshall Islands, and speak the Marshallese language. I have Marshallese friends here in Honolulu, and I sincerely hope my assessment of the situation and the film is not offensive to any. It is simply my understanding of the situation, and my response to a film that I highly welcome.

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