Oceania

KORIAM’S LAWAND THE DEAD WHO GOVERN

Australia, Papua New Guinea 2005 | 110 Min. | BetaSP, OmeU
Q&A with:
Gary Kildea
KORIAM’S LAW is set in the Jacquinot Bay area of Papua New Guinea’s East New Britain Province. Here the Aus­tralian anthro­pol­o­gist Andrew Lattas meets the philoso­pher-infor­mant Peter Avarea of Matong … read more

LE CIEL DANS UN JARDIN

Stéphane Breton
France 2003 | 62 Min. | BetaSP, OmeU
Q&A with:
Stéphane Breton
Told by a sort of inti­mate voice, the film is the nar­ra­tive of eth­nol­o­gist Stéphane Breton’s last trip to a small coun­try in the New Guinea high­lands, where he used … read more

MOANA: A ROMANCE OF THE GOLDEN AGE

Robert Flaherty
Samoa 1926 | 66 Min. | 16 mm
film still (Wikipedia)

Silent movie with musi­cal accom­pa­ni­ment by Günter A. Buchwald

In the wake of the raging suc­cess of his first fea­ture-length docu­d­ra­ma NANOOK OF THE NORTH, Para­mount Pic­tures com­mis­sioned R. J. Fla­her­ty to make a sim­i­lar record of Samoan life. Also unfa­mil­iar with the South Seas Fla­her­ty accept­ed and even­tu­al­ly pro­duced MOANA: A ROMANCE OF THE GOLDEN AGE. The public was not impressed, but this was the film for which the word “doc­u­men­tary” was coined by British critic John Grierson. 

When making MOANA, Robert J. Fla­her­ty lived for two years among the south Seas islanders, which he described as the great­est expe­ri­ence of his career. He and his family set­tled on the Samoan island of Savaii, where he had found a large cave with a spring of cold water in which he could devel­op his neg­a­tives. Fla­her­ty looked for the ele­ments of con­flict and strug­gle which his pre­vi­ous film NANOOK OF THE NORTH had taught him were essen­tial to the drama­ti­za­tion of real life. This search was long and fruit­less for Savaii afford­ed no filmable fight for food and shel­ter. The Fla­her­tys decid­ed that their pic­ture must record “Fa’a Samoa”, the com­plex weave of custom, cer­e­mo­ny and tabu which formed the social tex­ture of Samoan life. In thus adher­ing to the truth of the locale, Fla­her­ty pre­sent­ed a dra­mat­ic story of how the Samoans, free from the painful strug­gle with nature, inflict­ed pain to demon­strate their man­hood. The climax of MOANA is the appli­ca­tion of the tra­di­tion­al knee-to-navel tatoo, a rite if pas­sage from boy­hood to adulthood. 

In MOANA Hol­ly­wood met Anthro­pol­o­gy and cre­at­ed cin­e­mato­graph­ic ref­er­ence for the future genre of South Seas films.

O TAMAITI – Die Kinder

Sima Urale
New Zealand, Samoa 1996 | 15 Min. | 35 mm, OmeU
Sima Urale’s film O TAMAITI por­trays dif­fi­cul­ties expe­ri­enced by Poly­ne­sian people migrat­ing to Aotearoa New Zealand. Through an explo­ration of her own Samoan cul­ture, Urale address­es issues of finan­cial hard­ship … read more

PARADISE BENT, BOYS WILL BE GIRLS IN SAMOA

Heather Croall
Australia, Samoa 1999 | 51 Min. | BetaSP, OF
PARADISE BENT is one of the first cin­e­mat­ic con­sid­er­a­tions of Samoan fa’afafines-male chil­dren who are raised to be women. The film doc­u­ments how in large Samoan fam­i­lies there may be … read more

THE LAND HAS EYES
(Pear ta ma ‘on maf)

Vilsoni Hereniko
Fiji 2004 | 90 Min. | 35 mm, OmeU
Q&A with:
Vilsoni Hereniko
Viki, a sen­si­tive Rotu­man girl lis­tens intent­ly to her father who is telling her the story of the myth­i­cal first inhab­i­tant of the island, the “War­rior Woman”. With her strength … read more