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Tabu: A Story of the South Seas (1931) - Plot Summary Poster

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Summaries

  • On the South Pacific island of Bora Bora, a young couple's love is threatened when the tribal chief declares the girl a sacred virgin.

    Beth
  • In his final film, F.W. Murnau presents the tale of two young lovers on the idyllic island of Bora Bora in the South Pacific. Their life is shattered when the old warrior declares the girl to be the Chosen Maid and it is forbidden for any man to even look upon her. Refusing to accept a life apart, they run off to another island, one that is decadent and westernized. The boy works as a pearl diver but not quite understanding the concept of money, is soon in debt. When the old warrior tracks them down they again plan to run away but in a desperate attempt to pay off his debts, the boy dives for pearls in shark-infested waters. The boy is successful but fate seems determined to keep the two lovers apart.

  • 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 ?

    Yepok
  • Chapter 1 - Paradise: The youngsters Matahi and Reri are in love with each other. The old warrior Hitu announces that Reri is to be the new chosen virgin for the gods. This means she must stay untouched, otherwise she and her lover will be killed. But Matahi abducts and escapes with her to an island ruled by the white man, were their gods would be harmless and powerless. Chapter 2 - Paradise Lost: Matahi is an excellent diver, getting many pearls from the bottom of the ocean, but he does not know the meaning of money, financing a feast for all the villagers by signing the bills the smart Chinese businessman presents to him. Meanwhile Hitu chases them, and Matahi and Reri decide to buy a ticket to travel by ship to another place. However, the Chinese charges the bills and Matahi, without any money, goes diving for pearls in a forbidden shark-guarded, sea trying to get a huge pearl to pay for his debts and escape with Reri. But she decides to leave the island with Hitu and spare Matahi's life. Matahi swims after their boat, dying of exhaustion in the sea.


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