Blog & Film Reviews

Blog & Film Reviews

The Film

This half-hour educational documentary is shot in an intimate, backyard style. Breadfruit & Open Spaces gives a rare look into the personal stories and open living spaces of the Chuukese and Yapese people who live, work, and attend school on Guam, the land where they now grow and prepare their traditional foods. It explores their journey and challenge to hold their ground and find a voice on a new island, while also maintaining their ties to their families on their home islands in the Federated States of Micronesia.


Student Responses to Film

Many people on Guam are quick to judge other islanders from Micronesia, claiming that [they] own the island and these Micronesians should go back to their own.  It has been a racially charged issue on Guam lately because of the growing population number and many people are very passionate about it.  I think also with the military buildup, this issue of land and population has become even more present.  How many people can Guam really house? Will we be able to deal with even more people than we have now? Can we live comfortably? Many people don’t want to voice their solutions but rather voice their fears and other Micronesians have been the victims of that.  The Compact Impact we look to blame our neighbors first wen we should be looking to figure out how we can all live together and solve our problems.

Paul Luzano
Spring 2013
University of Guam, Sociology Student


Hello again, my name is Betty Samewel and I am in the 11th grade at Farrington High School.  I just want to thank you for coming to our school and taking time off your busy schedule to spend time with us.  I am very happy that you came and did your presentation and showed others how we/our people live and some of the struggles that we go through.  I was born in Guam so some of the sightings in your video were kind of familiar.  I too, have a promise brother and respect him so much.  But, when I look at others who claim to be promise bros or sis it feels as if they don’t know the meaning of that bondage.  It looks sad in my eyes and in our language we call that kokongaw.  Thank you again for coming and teaching us about the culture of Chuuk.  I hope we get to see each other again.  I wish there were more Micronesian filmmakers in the world.  Much tong ngonuk,

Betty Samewel
Farrington High School

Poetry Responses

 Featured below are poetry responses to Breadfruit & Open Spaces by the University of Guam students enrolled in Instructor Kisha Borja-Kicho’cho’s undergraduate education courses (Fall 2014).  Kisha employs haiku and tanka, Japanese poetic forms. Haiku is composed of simple words focusing on a single moment, usually giving very brief description of an object belonging to nature.  Tanka are 31-syllable poems meant to evoke a moment.


Tanka Reflections

Masters of the land
That is who we long to be
To grow and prosper
Among our family
We live in great harmony.

Land is our treasure
Culture is the key to life
What defines us all
Respect and security
Freedom to be who we are!

Culture is not dead
Through the people it lives on
Our own creations
Give life and meaning to it.
This gives us power and strength.

Life on the island
A good home we must all share
We’re one family
Any problems that we share
Can be fixed without worries.


Haiku Reflections

Breadfruit tree on ranch
Open spaces in between
Chuukese root in soil
Grow abundant here and home
Live to thrive and to survive

Breadfruit is a tree
That brings us all together
This tree brings them life
And expands the family
Do they still need water there?

Breadfruit nourishes growth
Family together forever
Open space is key
We have similarities
Survival of families

As we watched this film
It showed us a different view
Of a close-knit clan
That works hard and populates
Gill-Baza Subdivision

Breadfruit nurtures growth
Family together forever
Open space is key
We have similarities
Survival of families

Katherine Martin
Daughter of Maniwichi
Cherishes her land
Strong independent woman
Breadfruit and Open Spaces

Things we’ve learned today:
When you don’t have relatives
You don’t survive.
They felt wufutuk as one.
The land was ripped from their flesh.

Sustain us breadfruit
And fill the open spaces
With bounty and love

Fill the land with food
By planting it with breadfruit
Food for all we love

Let’s grow some breadfruit
With our Chuukese family.
Live with intentions.

Struggling to live
Promised brothers and sisters
Keep family close.

Micronesian love
Doesn’t matter who you are
No matter what, love.