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Tanna (2015)

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Set on a remote Pacific island, covered in rain forest and dominated by an active volcano, this heartfelt story, enacted by the Yakel tribe, tells of a sister's loyalty, a forbidden love affair and the pact between the old ways and the new.
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mungau Dain ... Dain
Marie Wawa ... Wawa
Marceline Rofit ... Selin
Charlie Kahla ... Chief Charlie
Albi Nangia Albi Nangia ... Grandfather and Shaman
Lingai Kowia ... Father
Dadwa Mungau Dadwa Mungau ... Grandmother
Linette Yowayin Linette Yowayin ... Mother
Kapan Cook Kapan Cook ... Kapan Cook
Mungau Yokay Mungau Yokay ... Peacemaking Chief
Mikum Tainakou ... Imedin Chief
Charlie Kahla Junior Charlie Kahla Junior ... Yakel Tribe
Nakou Pia Nakou Pia ... Yakel Tribe
Chifan Benata Chifan Benata ... Yakel Tribe
George Nayun George Nayun ... Yakel Tribe


Set on a remote Pacific island, covered in rain forest and dominated by an active volcano, this heartfelt story, enacted by the Yakel tribe, tells of a sister's loyalty, a forbidden love affair and the pact between the old ways and the new.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Two tribes. One love.


Not Rated | See all certifications »



Australia | Vanuatu



Release Date:

10 March 2016 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Taboo See more »

Filming Locations:

Tanna, Vanuatu See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,711, 16 September 2016

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Contact Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital (5.1)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The first ever Australian-made film to receive an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. See more »


Chief Charlie: If you want to be a good chief one day, you must move beyond revenge.
See more »


Featured in The Oscars (2017) See more »

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User Reviews

Let's get a few things straight first...
4 January 2018 | by nweston-95049See all my reviews

I have seen a few reviews both here and on other sites that make me laugh in relation to the reviewer's knowledge of the movie "plot" and of Tanna Island itself.

NO, NO, NO! Tanna is NOT in a remote part of Australia nor is it a part of the Solomon Island group.

Tanna is one of the 97 Islands in the Republic of Vanuatu, (Formerly known as the New Hebrides until independence in 1980.)

There is no such word as "Vanuatuan" it is just Vanuatu. The people are known as Ni-Vanuatu (basically meaning 'born Vanuatu'), not "Indians".

For those who thought that the 'plot' was a bit thin, what were the film makers supposed to do? The 'plot' is based on REAL events that happened just as 'recently' as 1987. Would it have been right for the film makers to fabricate a different story or outcome?

One of the real take aways from the movie and the events themselves was just how quickly the Ni-Vanuatu people reacted to the sad outcome that was initially brought on by the prior custom of arranged marriages.

The people in the movie may be viewed by some as 'uneducated savages', but hey, they stopped arranged marriages in 1987, the Royal Family of Britain were still wanting to arrange marriages until Prince William and Prince Harry turned the tide.

The other thing that gains some criticism, is that the film gets a bit slow from time to time. Yes, I agree that it does.

But I think what the movie makers were trying to create, was not just a typical movie with just a storyline, they were trying to draw us into knowing the people of Vanuatu better, they were giving us incredible images of the great beauty of the country and it's islands, and they were showing us that Vanuatu is "another time, another pace".

Things do tend to happen a bit slowly in Vanuatu, and the Pacific Islands as a whole. The term 'Pacific Time' is well known to seasoned travellers.

In Vanuatu, you learn to slow down, look around and see and appreciate the little things in life. Take time to smell the Hibiscus and the fresh clean environment.

Sure there is violence, but also look at the simple pleasures and happiness gained by the people. People living happily and contentedly without the need for material things that we think are so important to our lives.

People living together, supporting one another and coming together and resolving issues in times of turmoil and grief.

Look beyond the storyline and our own ideas of life and see that these 'primitive' people have so much to teach us 'civilised' ones, if we just take the time to stop and really look.

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