The shimmering roots of a potentially masterful filmmaker
I saw this short student film at the 2005 Zaki Gordon Film Festival and
I was extremely impressed. Although it does display all the inescapably
low-grade aspects of a no-budget student thesis short (i.e. bad picture
quality and lack-luster performances), Tavake is a beautifully crafted
film that is both touching and culturally informative. I was constantly
surprised by how Tavake could make a story about the cultural and
generational gaps between a father and son in Tonga so universally
relevant to a born-and-raised American such as myself. Although
expectedly flawed, this first outing by director Paul Stoll really
shows the shimmering roots of a potentially masterful filmmaker whose
heartwarming gift for storytelling and gracefully slow pace would be a
refreshing change-of-pace to silver screens everywhere.
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