Songs of a Lost Island
I’m proud to be partnering with The Troy and Theodora Polamalu Foundation and Creative Visions on this project.
Click here to contribute towards the project and be a part of bringing this film to life.
Despite American Samoa’s tiny population, at any given time there are around thirty American Samoans playing professional football in the NFL. Troy Polamalu found a way back to his homeland through football. He brought his family, his friends, other players, and coaches to Samoa where he was welcomed home like a king. But he wants the world to know more about his homeland than just football. The island is rich in resources and history, from traditional ceremonies to the structure and cadence of daily life— this is Fa’a Samoa — the Samoan Way. Out in the middle of the Pacific five small islands form American Samoa, an unincorporated territory of the United States with 50,000 inhabitants on less than 80 square miles of land, and deep blue ocean stretching out in every direction for thousands of miles. The Samoan people were seafarers, warriors, fishermen and farmers. But the last centuries of colonization, global politics, global warming, and isolation have taken their toll on this tiny nation. It is the only U.S. territory that can’t vote, yet the island has the highest rate of military enlistment of any State or territory in the United States.
Join Troy Polamalu on a journey to the middle of nowhere. Towering cliffs crashing into the sea, long boat races, a culture of tattoos that cover the body as much as they cover a person’s history. Singing— something every Samoan grows up embracing. And a passion for a sport that, though imported from colonizers, embodies the Samoan paradox—the warrior spirit and the humility and gentleness that made Troy himself a hero both on and off the field.
American Samoa still has a song to sing if the world chooses to listen.