"In just one beautiful dance, Brayden Yoder’s Last Taxi Dance artfully explores the tragedies and complexities of war from both the colonial and colonized perspectives. From the moment the film begins, the audience is swept back into a 1940’s Chinatown dance hall, filled with beautiful local women who trade dances with young soldiers for the price of a ticket. After the dancing ends, Mahea stays back to close up and be alone with her thoughts, until a forgotten soldier approaches her with unused dance tickets. Their last dance is so hauntingly beautiful that even weeks later, I could not help but think about their plights."
Stacy Fukuhara, Writer, Honolulu
"Last Taxi Dance brought me to a nostalgic post-war Hawaii that was both mysterious and enthralling. There’s a lingering creepiness as Mahea and the American share their dance that is impossible to look away from. The soundtrack enhances the full experience and the lyrics are the perfect juxtaposition to the fantastic eeriness of the film. Don’t miss this film if you get the chance!"
Anne Weber, Community Director, Impact Hub Honolulu
"The unique look and feel of Last Taxi Dance set it apart from other films that I've seen out of Hawaii. I loved being transported back in time to the seemingly romantic period of the 1940’s in Honolulu, and then zooming in deeper to catch a glimpse of some of the troubling issues that Native Hawaiians and servicemen alike were dealing with at the time. Actress Danielle Zalopany has so much charisma and speaks volumes beyond the lines of the script. The short film left me wanting to understand more about these two very different people and their haunting situations."
Holly Sereni, 2018 ʻOhina labs fellow, 2013 Creative Lab Hawaiʻi fellow
"Director Brayden Yoder is a force of nature -- he makes things happen. He has a passion for stories, for learning about other people and communicating their essence to others. His interests are omnivorous, but when he has landed on a project, he is deeply committed to getting it right and is undaunted by obstacles and challenges. Last Taxi Dance exemplifies Brayden's eye to detail in look and mood, and I was particularly interested in the era because of my mother's stories, not so much of taxi-dancing, but of the public dances where unattached young men and women in their 20s would meet and socialize in a safe space during the War."
Suzanne Sato, Honolulu