The Beautiful Lies of Robert J. Flaherty’s "Moana with Sound"

  • MUBI
Close-Up is a feature that spotlights films now playing on Mubi. Robert Flaherty's Moana with Sound (1926 / 1980) is playing August 30 - September 29, 2017 on Mubi in most countries around the world.Slowly, slowly, the tufunga taps his comb of bone needles into the young man’s lower back. His movements are practiced and precise, each tap marking the young man for the rest of his days. The young man winces in agony, sweat pouring down his face as his relatives wipe away the blood and excess ink with tapa cloth. A witch-woman stokes a fire and burns candlenut stalks to make more soot for the tufunga’s ink. The infernal tapping continues, now on his upper back, now on his flanks, now on his knees—the most painful part of the ceremony. Outside the hut, a crowd of men dance and sing. “Courage to Moana,” they cry, “Courage to Moana!
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