Review by Richard Kuipers – Variety
Courtesy of Venice Film Festival
The eternal story of young lovers breaking all the rules and risking everything to be together is beautifully told in “Tanna,” the first-ever feature shot entirely in the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu. Based on dramatic events that took place on the volcanic island of Tanna in 1987, the pic weaves fascinating details of tribal life into a universally accessible and emotionally affecting romantic drama. Very well performed by non-professionals drawn from communities whose history is represented on screen, “Tanna” marks a notable narrative debut for the experienced Aussie documaking duo of Bentley Dean and Martin Butler.
Elegantly edited by Tania Michel Nehme (“Ten Canoes” and most other Rolf de Heer films) and performed with conviction by actors who’d never seen a film or a movie camera before, the pic is a stirring tribute to the power of love and will likely prompt many viewers to shed tears of sadness and tears of joy at various points.
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