20 minutes by plane from modern Honolulu, lies a tiny settlement forgotten by time. Kalaupapa, a peninsula on the Hawaiian island of Molokai, with its swaying palms, unspoiled beaches and stunning mountains, is a paradise on earth - but with a dark and dramatic history. Kalaupapa is a leprosy colony.
In 1998 Paul Cox was allowed by the remaining Hanson disease (Leprosy) patients of Kalaupapa to make a biopic on a Jesuit priest, Father Damien - “Molokai, The story of Father Damien”. In 2005/2006 Paul was invited back by the patients to make a documentary on their lives – a story that had never been told in total. KALAUPAPA – HAVEN is a documentary focusing on the personal stories of the remaining leprosy patients of the island, illustrated through interviews, archival footage, photographs, home movies and some re-enactments. The stories are grim, but are contradicted by present day, where elderly survivors proudly display their scars and wounds, where crippled patients “walk” their dogs by driving old jalopies through the palmlined streets, where churches reverberate with the sound of singing, where chilling tales of spirits are never in short supply… KALAUPAPA HEAVEN is an uplifting and profoundly moving portrait of a group of people who through adversity have found forgiveness and faith by creating their own bit of paradise.