Struggle for Existence

In the future of 2025, five rare Palila finches survive in the wild and a woman journeys to Hawaii, the Extinction Capital of the World, to see the last few birds. Through animation and live-action footage, the film explores how a species is preserved by humankind as it nears extinction.

Struggle for Existence combines animation and graphics with documentary material to spin a compelling story of an endangered finch on the verge of extinction living in the Extinction Capital of the World — The Hawaiian Islands. The Palila is a native forest bird that lives on the slopes of Mauna Kea Volcano on the Big Island of Hawai`i, fewer than 1,100 are survive in the wild. In 2025, five Palila finches remain, and a woman journeys to Hawai`i to see the last few birds. The film questions how life is valued and preserved by man as a species nears extinction, through looking at past and present conservation efforts. Struggle for Existence contemplates Darwin’s theory of natural selection, inevitability of death for all living things, and our human instinct to “save nature.”

Winner, Best Documentary CUNY Asian American Film Festival, Best Short Documentary, Student Category, American Conservation Film Festival. Screenings at Hawaii International Film Festival, DOCUtah, NY Asian American Film Festival.

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Like a magic seed, life grows into something extraordinary, beyond imagination, into dreams.