The Sound of Crickets at Night
“The Sound of Crickets at Night is wonderful! I love how the film intertwines modern day Majuro with Marshallese legend. The music is amazing and the young actress stole my heart. This film is a great vehicle for teaching our current generation the effects of the U.S. bombing of Bikini.” –Rebecca Lathrop, Principal of the Majuro Cooperative High School, Majuro, October 2012
Ainikien Jidjid ilo Boñ (The Sound of Crickets at Night) is the story of a family displaced as a result of nuclear testing on Bikini Atoll and now living in exile on Ejit Island on Majuro Atoll in the Marshall Islands.
Kali, a darling-though-curious 10-year-old Bikinian girl, watches in dismay as her mother and father argue bitterly, then finally separate and leave the island. Left alone to care for her elderly grandfather, Jebuki, who has been hiding a life-threatening illness, Kali deteriorates, refusing to eat, work or play. Fearing for his granddaughter’s wellbeing, Jebuki makes a desperate decision to summon Worejabato, an ancient deity from Bikini Atoll.
Appearing in the form of an unshaven American stranger, Worejabato washes up on the beach on Ejit Island, and is discovered by Kali. The deity immediately begins to weave his way into Kali’s life, but wishes from Worejabato do not come for free. What will Jebuki promise to Worejabato to ensure Kali’s happiness?
Full Disclosure: I play Becky, the neurotic, alcoholic yachtie in this movie.
Below is the song Drift Away from the movie The Sound of Crickets at Night. Music and Words by Nelu Debrum. Peformed by Nelu Debrum, Lulani Ritok, Joseph Katjang and Jorkeim “JB” Bunglik:
“Hundreds of Marshallese turned out to watch The Sound of Crickets at Night at the Hawaii International Film Festival last week…Beautiful local music, skilled photography and a great supporting cast made this film a total delight while addressing serious issues of life in the Marshall Islands today.” –Caroline Yacoe, Hawaii, October 2012