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Friday, March 3, 2017

Tannah (2016)

Very interesting movie that is set in the Pacific Island of Vanuatu and was Australia's submission for Best Foreign Language film.  It was filmed with native actors, all amateurs, and it has some of the limitations that you would expect from that.  The cinematography is absolutely spectacular, and it did not surprise me to learn that the filmmaker is largely known for documentary film making.
I would say that the story is a complete rip off of the Romeo and Juliet saga, except that it is based on real events that took place on the volcanic island of Tanna in 1987.  The Yakel tribe was firmly entrenched in the iron fist grip of the elders on everything that happens, including arranging marriages and using bartering women in marriage to keep peace with another tribe.  So when Wawa falls in love with Dain, they have very little hope that their relationship will be allowed.  Then Wawa is promised to a warring tribe, and there is no way out.  Wawa is no longer a virgin, the tribe is angry that she has run away, and their own people are not in their camp.  So they make the only choice that they see available to them, which is a tragedy of the tribal elders making.  And so it goes.  All stories af mankind are doomed to be repeated.

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