I still think Moana deserved an Oscar for this part
To me, the moral of Moana is that only women can help other women heal from male violence.
The movie starts with the idea that the male god who wronged Te Fiti must be the one to heal her. This seems to make a certain sort of intuitive sense in that I think we all believe that if you do something wrong you should try to make it right. But how does he try to right it? Through more violence. Of course that failed.
It was only when another woman, Moana, saw past the “demon of earth and fire” that the traumatized Te Fiti had become (what a good metaphor for trauma, right?) and met her with love instead of violence that she was able to heal. Note that they do the forehead press before Moana restores the heart, while Te Fiti is still Te Kā. Moana doesn’t wait for her beautiful island goddess to appear in all her green splendor before greeting and treating her as someone deserving of love.
Moana is only able to restore the heart because Te Kā reveals her vulnerability and allows Moana to touch her there. Maui and his male violence could only ever have resulted in more ruin.
…this is exactly what I was trying to say and you put it beautifully. @i-want-cheese This is why the scene makes me tear up every damn time. Women’s honest, ugly reaction to trauma is almost never even depicted in films, let alone honored the way it is in Moana. Te Fiti doesn’t have to “rise above” being violated before she’s allowed to heal. Moana sees her and says
I know your name
They have stolen the heart from inside you
But this does not define you
She utterly accepts Te Fiti’s rage, her fear, her lashing out at anyone who comes near the remains of her ravaged
bodyisland. Female ugliness isn’t punished, it’s mourned and loved. What an indescribably comforting moment.
Welp I’m crying