With Ema diagnosed with terminal cancer, the Siope family searches for healing by confronting intergenerational trauma head on and returning to their homeland of Sāmoa.
The redemptive tale of waka builder and captain Lilo Ema Siope’s final years, the stunning LOIMATA, The Sweetest Tears is a chronicle of journeys. Confronting intergenerational trauma head on, the Siope family returns to their homeland of Sāmoa. For Ema’s father, this is his first time back to his birthplace since leaving in 1959. The result is a poignant yet tender story of a family’s unconditional love for each other, and a commitment to becoming whole again.
By Anna Marbrook, New Zealand / Sāmoa. 2021, 94 minutes, Documentary, English & Samoan with English subtitles
"I walked into this film expecting to see a portrait of a world-renowned ship builder, navigator and sailor, undertaking one of the final voyages of her life. And, in a way, that is what Loimata is. But not in the way I was assuming it would be."~ stuff.co.nz
Themes: First Nation / Women / Sexual Abuse / LGBTQ+ / Family / Healing
FIFO (Festival International du Film Documentaire Océanien), 2021 Grand Prix du Jury
NZTV Awards, 2021 Best Documentary, Nominee Best Director, Nominee