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748 Ratings

Tabu: A Story of the South Seas

Directed by F.W. Murnau
United States, 1931


With all the madness of Hollywood converting to sound, silent masters F.W. Murnau (Sunrise) and Robert Flaherty (Nanook of the North) escaped to the South Seas, where they collaborated on this tale of adventure, culture clash, and forbidden love, starring natives of the islands.

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Tabu: A Story of the South Seas Directed by F.W. Murnau

Critics reviews

The recycling of narrative tropes common to both Murnau and his co-writer, Robert J. Flaherty, blunts whatever claim the film might have to anthropology, but the feature is most fascinating as a showcase for a master challenging himself. The reliance on natural light forces Murnau, one of the great wielders of shadow, to deal with intense sunlight and shifting light positions, and compositions regularly display a conflict between keen framing and the predictability of the objects being framed.
December 16, 2015
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