Moana Review: How We Can Make A Difference
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Moana Review: How We Can Make A Difference


Moana Review: How We Can Make A Difference

After weeks of dodging spoilers, I finally went to see the new Disney film Moana. The latest “Disney princess” story follows the adventures of a young woman who finds her own voice and forges her own identity. She chooses to be a progressive leader of her people on her own terms, rather than the stereotypical princess in need of rescue. She has both the wisdom to respect her people’s culture and the bravery to light her own path toward the future.

Moana is on the verge of shattering the glass ceiling, becoming the first female chief in the rich history of her South Pacific tribe. But unlike her American counterpart Hillary Clinton, she actually succeeds!

Sure, there’s dazzling visuals, catchy Hamilton-esque numbers, beautiful performances, and an overall sense of fun. It’s all there, and––except for a couple of scary moments––it’ll keep the younger set hooked. But for a college senior twiddling her thumbs while the electoral college voted for the next president, the movie represented both the current state of America and what we can do to change it.

In order to get to the heart of this issue, let’s take a look at the lore. Moana’s goal is to return the heart of the life goddess Te Fiti to its rightful place. According to legend, Te Fiti used her heart to spread life across the world, creating an intricate network of islands that would be the perfect paradise for flora, fauna, and of course, humanity. After she finished her creation, she laid herself to rest, transforming into a gigantic island.

Over time, Te Fiti’s heart became a coveted treasure. Thieves, such as the greedy crab Tamatoa and the bloodthirsty Kamakora pirates, seek the heart for their own nefarious purposes. However, only the mischievous demigod Maui succeeds in stealing the heart, but his invasion brings disastrous consequences. The island falls into darkness and the physical form of Te Fiti morphs into a demonic shell of her former self: Te Ka.

Just as Maui tries to make an escape, the vengeful Te Ka rises from her cloud and confronts the demigod. When the smoke clears, the heart is doscovered to be lost and Maui is banished to a desolate spit of land in the middle of the ocean for eternity. As further punishment, Te Ka sentences all of mankind to death and places a curse that will destroy all flora and fauna across the world, making it impossible for mankind to survive.

Now, I’m not a very spiritual person––I can count the number of times I’ve prayed to any deity on only one hand––but there may be some truth to this timeless legend of beauty and corruption, particularly in the current state of America. As I scroll through my social media or my news apps, it’s clear that Te Ka’s curse is spreading throughout the country.

The election of Donald Trump cast a dark shadow over America. By nominating people like Steve Bannon, Jeff Sessions, and John Kelly for his cabinet, Trump has normalized the white supremacy and authoritarianism that has been kept under wraps for decades. Educators worry that the normalization of such hateful speech will have a long-lasting impact on the school system and student well-being. Most disturbing of all, Trump’s anti-media rhetoric and direct communication with his followers on Twitter could signify a potential totalitarian regime.

This anxiety and concern has permeated Drew’s conscience. The morning of November 9th was cold and gray, matching the unusually somber mood on campus. I could see the sorrow carved into everybody’s face as I trudged to class. I worried that conservative students would pop out and taunt us by saying, “Why the long face? Trump won, get over it!” Fortunately, there were no red ball caps in sight.

Although many students like myself are taking initiative and fighting for our rights, these clouds have barely lifted. Some of my friends and classmates are still worried about what will become of them. Fortunately, many of our professors have pledged to help support students who are still recovering from the election.

It’s clear that now, more than ever, we need a Moana to lead the resistance against the Trump regime. We need a leader to prevent liberals from fighting each other and unite against a common enemy. We need somebody to make progressive values mainstream once again. We need someone to restore the liberal majority in Congress in 2018 and the presidency in 2020.

Who is this someone, you ask? It’s you.

Yes, you read that right. You. You with the face.

Even if you don’t have the confidence to get on a soapbox at a rally, you can take the first step by donating to organizations that work to support women, people with physical/mental disabilities, LGBTQ+ folks, immigrants, Jews, Muslims, and people of color. Let your voice be heard, either in person or online. (The live video function on Facebook is perfect for this!) In addition to donating to the aforementioned organizations, take your action to the next level and volunteer for them. Just as Moana supported her people in their time of need, take time out of your day to support and stand up for marginalized groups.

If we work together, stay strong, and fight for what’s right, we can recover the heart of America and restore it to its rightful place.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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