You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Tabu

A strong love story in a South Seas background, with South Sea natives rather than regular actors.

Cast:
Reri Matahi Hitu Jean Jules Kong Ah

A strong love story in a South Seas background, with South Sea natives rather than regular actors.

The title, Tabu, means death. It’s the fate that hangs over the romantic leads who flee from a distant isle and its barbaric customs after a girl has been handed over to Tabu, ruler of one of the islands, as ‘the chosen one’. Along with her goes the dictum, ‘no man must touch her or cast eyes of desire upon her’.

Matahi rescues the girl, Reri, from a schooner at the propitious moment, just as she is to be taken away. They flee to an island that flourishes in the pearl trade and has been penetrated to a greater extent by white men. Here Matahi becomes famous as a pearl diver, but finally Tabu turns up to claim the girl, threatening the Tabu sign (or death) on Matahi if she doesn’t come along with him.

About 90% of the footage is devoted to the romantic leads, their happiness, troubles, heartaches, etc. Against this, there is a little native life – fishing, diving, waterfalls, mode of living, etc, as was brought but to a far greater extent in Moana.

Tabu is a silent, with synchronization and sound effects, but difficult to figure out whether some of the effects and the singing, as well as native music, were dubbed over or not.

1930/31: Best Cinematography

Tabu

Production: Paramount. Director F.W. Murnau; Producer Robert J. Flaherty, F.W. Murnau; Screenplay Robert J. Flaherty, F.W. Murnau; Camera Floyd Crosby, Robert J. Flaherty; Music Hugo Riesenfeld

Crew: (B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1931. Running time: 81 MIN.

With: Reri Matahi Hitu Jean Jules Kong Ah

More Film

  • Progression Image 3 of 3: Final

    Film Review: Pixar's 'Coco'

    A strong love story in a South Seas background, with South Sea natives rather than regular actors. The title, Tabu, means death. It’s the fate that hangs over the romantic leads who flee from a distant isle and its barbaric customs after a girl has been handed over to Tabu, ruler of one of the […]

  • The Disaster Artist

    AFI Fest Adds Galas for 'Call Me by Your Name,' 'Disaster Artist,' 'Hostiles'

    A strong love story in a South Seas background, with South Sea natives rather than regular actors. The title, Tabu, means death. It’s the fate that hangs over the romantic leads who flee from a distant isle and its barbaric customs after a girl has been handed over to Tabu, ruler of one of the […]

  • Boo 2! A Madea Halloween

    Box Office: 'Boo 2! A Madea Halloween' to Blow Away 'Geostorm' in Slow Weekend

    A strong love story in a South Seas background, with South Sea natives rather than regular actors. The title, Tabu, means death. It’s the fate that hangs over the romantic leads who flee from a distant isle and its barbaric customs after a girl has been handed over to Tabu, ruler of one of the […]

  • Lionsgate Unveils "The World of The

    Lionsgate Unveils World's First 'Hunger Games' Theme Park

    A strong love story in a South Seas background, with South Sea natives rather than regular actors. The title, Tabu, means death. It’s the fate that hangs over the romantic leads who flee from a distant isle and its barbaric customs after a girl has been handed over to Tabu, ruler of one of the […]

  • Lawyer: Weinstein Rape Accuser's "Biggest Regret

    Lawyer: Weinstein Rape Accuser's 'Biggest Regret Is Opening That Door'

    A strong love story in a South Seas background, with South Sea natives rather than regular actors. The title, Tabu, means death. It’s the fate that hangs over the romantic leads who flee from a distant isle and its barbaric customs after a girl has been handed over to Tabu, ruler of one of the […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content