Tanna

November 1, 2017

Tanna tells the tale of Wawa and Dain two star-crossed lovers forced to choose between their relationship and peace for their small Vanuatu tribe in this modern retelling of Romeo and Juliet and inspired by a true story.

Wawa a young girl from one of the last true tribal societies in the South Pacific falls in love with her chief’s grandson Dain but when a violent intertribal war escalates she unknowingly becomes betrothed as part of a peace deal. The young lovers run away and are pursued by enemy warriors intent on killing them. They must choose between their hearts and the future of the tribe while the villagers struggle to both preserve their traditional culture and adapt to the increasing demands for individual freedom.

Shot entirely in the multi-island country of Vanuatu the film uses untrained actors who have never seen a movie. The tribe is aware the modern world exists but choose to continue their traditional way of life. The movie is set in the remote village of Yakel on the island named Tanna. Yakel is high in the mountain rainforest near a spitting volcano, gorgeous waterfalls and ancient trees.

For the movie, that eventually was Australia’s entry for this year’s Best Foreign Language Oscar, the directors lived in Yakel for seven months to better understand and absorb the culture and get to know the people.

Australia/Vanuatu
Nauvhal with English subtitles
Rated: PG
100 minutes
4 - 5:40 and 7 - 8:40

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