IZ

IZ

Director/Producer: Jennifer Akana Sturla

Embodying a physicality that reflected his people's suffering, beloved indigenous Hawaiian musician Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo‘ole, the “Hawaiian Bob Marley,” rose above his position in society through his influential music but died before his medley “Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” became a massive international hit. Born in 1959, the same year his stolen nation became the 50thU.S. state, Hawaiian singer-songwriter IZ came to represent a quintessentially Hawaiian life. His was an experience of historical trauma, the cumulative emotional and psychological wounding of generations caused by traumatic events. Yet his music brought joy to all. Like Bob Marley, he created popular political music before dying at over 700 pounds and just 38 years of age. Posthumously, IZ’s medley of two classically American songs –“Over the Rainbow” and “What a Wonderful World” –went quadruple platinum and made his voice internationally recognizable. This film tells the big story behind that one little song.