In one island of Bora Bora lagoon, a young fisherman, Matahi, is in love with Reri. But she is chosen to be the holy maid and therefore becomes "tabu". They ran away from that tradition. ... See full summary »
In one island of Bora Bora lagoon, a young fisherman, Matahi, is in love with Reri. But she is chosen to be the holy maid and therefore becomes "tabu". They ran away from that tradition. Will they be happier and luckier in the more "civilized" society ? Written by
Originally conceived as a co-venture with documentarian Robert J. Flaherty. As work on the project progressed, it became increasingly clear to Flaherty that F.W. Murnau did not adapt well to co-directing and that he was being squeezed off the film. A factor helping Murnau in this was that he was one of the chief financiers. See more »
This is a great film, one that actually benefits from being silent. The south-seas love story could seem incredibly hackneyed, but the sensitive silent presentation makes it all seem believable. Flaherty's painstaking ethnographic research pays off, establishing that we are getting a genuine look at Polynesian village life. The roles are played by actual villagers under their own names.
This was originally going to be a documentary like Nanook of the North, but Murnau got so fascinated by Polynesian legends told by the locals that he decided to incorporate them into the story. This also meant that he had to invest his own money in the film, as Hollywood would have none of it. Nowadays we think anything so beautiful couldn't be genuine, but Murnau and Flaherty seem to have constructed an accurate document.
The tragic love story has its parallel in real life, as Murnau was killed in a car-crash days after the film's completion.
The MTV generation is better able to appreciate silent films than the 60's crowd, so I recommend to viewers interested in something different.
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