Glorious, stupendous cinematography. So glad to have the soundtrack, though it may not be accurate. It increases the impact of the images and deepens our emotional experience. The original inter-titles are beautifully lettered. Fascinating scenes of catching the tortoise and the crab. Wonderful footage of making barkcloth fabric. Felt perhaps a touch too staged at the end with the dancing. Still, a great documentary
An anthropological research of a Samoan tribe of an Island in the Pacific Ocean. Nothing happens, actually. But: singing and dancing are simply enchanting, the daily routine (hunting, cooking, sewing, swimming...) is full of joy and soothing, rituals, such as the painful Polynesian-style tattooing which marks a 'real man', are almost hypnotic. This is truly a precious shell :)
What the Flaherties crafted back in the 20s (!) is remarkable in so many ways: both cinematographic (the framing, the editing) and ethnographical–depicting a culture so distant from theirs, without any trace of exoticism. Their work is so simple and yet so respectful, and joyful. And Monica–what she did is just crazy. It's clear that some people really loved this film–and that's what makes it so special, above all.
Quite the delight, Moana AKA Moana With Sound (as per the 1980 reissue title, according to MUBI) is a documentary with a number of staged scenes included. The images all hold up VERY well, thanks to some tender loving care, and the new soundtrack works. A nice curio piece that showcases quite a beautiful location and people.
Stunning fictionalized documentary that plays up unashamedly the romantic vision of pristine tribal life next to nature. Focusing on the young Polynesian couple, it is extremely well photographed and brims with lyricism in its celebration of vitality and youth. One may doubt the universality of customs and modes of interaction but Flaherty's virtuosity and grand-vision are undeniable. Minus one star for the sound.
A well crafted documentary by Robert Flaherty, on the life and day to day rituals of a Samoan tribe of the island of Savai’i. This documentary depicts the true Moana, form day to day hunting and gathering to fishing, swimming, and other recreational activities, even how he is marked as a man in the village. A very well done and remastered part of cinematography.
The fact that this was filmed 90+ years ago is simply astonishing! How much the relatively modern soundtrack adds to or detracts (or should that be distracts?) from the overall effect is questionable in my mind. While the singing is beautiful, the dubbed voices took away some of the (albeit staged) authenticity. I particularly enjoyed the dressmaking and tattooing scenes. I'm not quite sure what that says about me!
Exquisitely shot and matched seamlessly with ambient sounds of folk song and bird calls, Moana is a charming if somewhat meandering and slow paced film by hyper kinetic modern standards. Not quite up there with Tabu, but nonetheless still a must see for all Flaherty enthusiasts.
To me, this was like a cross between an anthropological study and a slow episode of The Island with Bear Grylls in which all the competitors are experts in island life. The film meanders between staged scenes where little happens - some are interesting, some are tedious. It would have helped if something vaguely dramatic happened, and if the editor was a little more ruthless in the cutting room.