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784 Ratings

Tabu: A Story of the South Seas

Directed by F.W. Murnau
United States, 1931
Adventure, Romance, Drama


Tale of two young lovers on the idyllic island of Bora Bora in the South Pacific. Their life is shattered when the old warrior declares the girl to be the Chosen Maid and it is forbidden for any man to even look upon her. Refusing to accept a life apart, they run off to another island.

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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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