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Matthew A. Brown,
John H. Groberg, a middle class kid from Idaho Falls, crosses the Pacific to become a Mormon missionary in the remote and exotic Tongan island kingdom during the 1950's. He leaves behind a loving family and the true love of his life, Jean. Through letters and musings across the miles, John shares his humbling and sometimes hilarious adventures with "the girl back home", and her letters buoy up his spirits in difficult times. John must struggle to overcome language barriers, physical hardship and deep-rooted suspicion to earn the trust and love of the Tongan people he has come to serve. Throughout his adventure-filled three years on the islands, he discovers friends and wisdom in the most unlikely places. John H. Groberg's Tongan odyssey will change his life forever. Written by
Mary Jane Jones
The real John H. Groberg as well as his wife Jean, one of his grandsons and one of his daughters with her husband can be seen at the very end during the wedding scene. As the camera pans from right to left, you can see his daughter, then her husband, then the grandson, then John is taking a picture of the couple, and his wife is next to him clapping. See more »
Elder Groberg has a Book of Mormon beside his bed. This particular Book of Mormon has the phrase "Another testament of Jesus Christ" on the cover. This phrase did not appear on the Book of Mormon until the mid 80's. See more »
Tomasi, why did you help us?
When I was a little boy, I was orphaned. Two missionaries like you took care of me, put me in school. I had forgotten about it until the minister told us to go rough up the Mormons. Then I remembered: I am one!
[takes a swig of alcohol]
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Exceptional artistic and historic care blend with charming cinematography, to render a visual experience that transcends into an emotional one. Not just one church's story. A universal story. Youth against the world. Virtue against violence. Anyone can relate to this film. It combines all the elements.
You get a light-hearted view of one young man's experience in a remote and unusual part of the world, at a time when the world was just about to start shrinking. There are family values. Individual challenges. Real-life stresses hurled from nature and cultural contrast.
The photography is utterly charming in its balance. It is not a slow film, any more than "Castaway" was a slow film. The difference between these two films is that one pits a single man against the world and against himself, while the other pits a young man against an utterly alien life which he manages to blend into his own. The "slowness" of the Pacific island life is micro-viewed to reveal that there are actually exciting and humorous details of daily life; while macro-viewed to show the occasional punctuation of extreme chaos and challenge,change and redirection.
Everyone wins in this film. Conflicts range from mutual culture and social shock, to static compromise, and eventually up to complete resolution.
See a South Pacific adventure that is, for once, totally based on real life and real historic occurrences.
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