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Tabu: A Story of the South Seas

Posted by martinteller on June 4, 2009

I’ve been playing “Final Fantasy XII” for the past 2 weeks, but I’m taking a break to watch some recent arrivals from Netflix (I need some time away from the game anyway, I’ve been managing Licenses and Gambits in my dreams).  This was Murnau’s final picture, and it’s my favorite by him so far.  Not as purely an ethnographic study as Nanook of the North, whose director Robert Flaherty had significant input on the film (which started as a co-directorship).  Nor is it simply a romance with an exotic, exploitative twist like Legong.  It incorporates both these aspects but transcends them, and the end result is a work that’s beautifully shot, poetically structured, and has a compelling narrative.  And the entirely non-professional cast is impressive as well.  Rating: 9


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