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.
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It is very rare to see indigenous people portrayed with such simplicity and beauty. Without falling into the traps of the Noble Savage stereotype that Herman Melville and others created in our western culture. Human societies have conflict and drama and violence and myth and love. This story turns out to be a story about a society that is able to learn from its mistakes and evolve. And we can learn from it.
Avec un concept intéressant, novateur et plein d'ingéniosité, le film à tendance documentaire de Martin Butler et Bentley Dean aurait pu être plus intéressant s'il s'était éloigné du scénario classique - et banal - d'un Roméo et Juliette à la sauce aborigène.
Although I never visited a Kastom village, I did visit Tanna Island twice for work and was lucky to see the volcano. The plot of the film is fairly simple with a Romeo and Juliet storyline. The film is beautifully shot with shallow depth of field and amazing colours and landscapes. The main characters are all so charming in their innocence and simplicity. I loved it but have a personal interest in seeing Tanna again.
Yes, the story is super simple and not original, the amateurish acting is obviously stilted, but goddamnit this is a seriously beautiful film, from the amazing visuals to the heartfelt narrative and the super expressive people from Vanuatu.
There is some magic happening here, but for most parts it's a typical love story we've already seen many times. Portrayal of tribal hierarchy also hasn't brought anything new to better understanding of indigenous communities.
In its use of a volcano as the core of Mother Earth, here is some of the most indelible landscape shots in a terrain where that now seems common. Letting the rituals of the Yakei play out is when the film shines; people never seen in cinema who exude warmth and confidence. More context then for why Butler/Dean villainised another tribe to elevate this one? All cultures need a Romeo + Juliet variant, this one's true
Tanna is like an Oceanian Shakespeare play--characterized by brilliant performances from the Yakei people and some of the most stunning cinematography I've seen from 2016. If you're a fan of Romeo and Juliet, you'll love this.