Eating Up Easter

Eating Up Easter

  • BY Sergio Rapu and Elena Rapu | IN Identity
    Premiered May 25, 2020

About the Film

More than just a picture-perfect postcard of iconic stone statues, Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island, is a microcosm of a planet in flux. Directed by native Rapa Nui filmmaker Sergio Mata’u Rapu, Eating Up Easter explores the challenges his people are facing, and the intergenerational fight to preserve their culture and a beloved environment against a backdrop of a modernizing society and a booming tourism trade.   MORE

Crafted as a story passed down to his newborn son, Rapu intertwines the authentic history of the island with the stories of four islanders, crafting a moving portrait of a society striving to keep step with the rest of the world while maintaining its own unique identity, and asking the next generation, "what will be left for you?" 

The Filmmakers

Native Rapanui producer/director Sergio Mata’u Rapu is the only Easter Islander working in production in an English-speaking country. He has spent the last 15 years shooting and producing documentaries that have aired on History Channel, Travel Channel, National Geographic, and NOVA. Through his work, Sergio aims to show the diversity of life through thought-provoking media to inspire resolutions to social, economic, and environmental conflicts.

Elena Rapu (producer/writer) is an anthropologist and filmmaker. She received her MA in Anthropology from SUNY Binghamton, specializing in the Pacific. She has 15 years of experience on Easter Island working in archaeology, hospitality, and tourism. She is passionate about exploring the complex realities faced by living cultures as they grow and change in a globalized world.  LESS

Film Credits

Directed by
Sergio M. Rapu

Written by
Elena Kouneski Rapu
Liz Kaar

Produced by
Sergio M. Rapu
Elena Kouneski Rapu

Edited by
Liz Kaar
Miles Painter
Sergio M. Rapu

Director of Photography
Jeff Saunders

Camera Operators
Mark Mostad
Sergio M. Rapu

Aerial Photography
Mark Mostad

Sound Mixer
Cristian Gonzalez
Mauricio Romero

Additional Camera
Sergio Moya
Miguel Carrasco Bratti
Cristian Gonzalez
Ricardo Jara
Danica Donnelly

Post-Production Supervisor
Matt Taylor

Motion Graphics
Diana Cimino

Digital Colorist
Matt Taylor

Re-Recording Mixer
Jason Almendinger

Transcription Services        
Final Draft Business Support Services, Inc.

For Pacific Islanders in Communications
Executive Producer
Leanne K. Ferrer

Supervising Producer
Cheryl Hirasa

For Kartemquin Films
Executive Producers

Gordon Quinn
Betsy Steinberg

Director of Development
Joanna Lakatos

Director of Finance  
Andrea de Fraga

Director of Communications and Distribution
Tim Horsburgh

Director of Production and Post
Risé Sanders-Weir

Technical Director
Jim Morrisette

Additional Kartemquin Staff
Maggie Bowman
Leslie Simmer
Max Asaf
Abbie Brewer
Laura Gomez-Mesquita
Tikahya Lampley
Julia Martin
Anu Rana
Ingrid Roettgen
Ryan Gleeson
Hillary Bachelder
Nancy McDonald
Beckie Stocchetti
Emily Strong
Pedro Urgiles

Kartemquin Interns
Josie Pommering
Alyssa Villegas
Brian Lu
Julia Davis
Ashish Valentine
SJ Wright

Archival Footage
Betty Rapu
Brigid Mulloy
Colección Museo Histórico Nacional, Chile
National Film Board of Canada
ʻŌiwi TV
Valhalla Movement

Music by
Enrique Icka
Toki Music School

Special Thanks
Cynthia Rapu
Julianna Rapu Leong
Andy & Maria Awes

Funding Provided by
Princess Grace Foundation

EATING UP EASTER is a co-production of Eating Up Easter Film, LLC, Mara Films, LLC, Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC), Kartemquin Educational Films and Independent Television Service, Inc. (ITVS) with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).

This program was produced by Mara Films, LLC and Eating Up Easter Film, LLC which is solely responsible for its content.

© 2019 Mara Films, LLC & Eating Up Easter Film, LLC. All rights reserved.


Do you have your own equivalent of Rapa Nui, and what would you be willing to sacrifice to save it? When you can travel, do you practice being a responsible tourist?


  • Arica Nativa Film Festiva
    Winner - Mallku Feature Film Competition
  • BendFilm Festival
    Best Environmental/Outdoor Feature
  • Arkhaios Film Festival
    Audience Favorite
  • Arkhaios Film Festival
    Jury Grand Prize
  • Portuguese Surf Film Festival
    Sustainability Award
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Do you have your own equivalent of Rapa Nui, and what would you be willing to sacrifice to save it? When you can travel, do you practice being a responsible tourist?