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This review is from: Tabu (A Story of the South Seas) [Masters of Cinema] [DVD] (DVD)
"Tabu, a story of the South Sea" is one of the last films of the silent era and the last film by the world famous German director F.W. Murnau, who died in a car crash one week before its premiere in 1931.
Shot on Bora Bora, Tahiti in the Pacific South Sea in 1930, it tells the story of a forbidden love, the power of cultural mores, and the difficulty to ignore or run away from it by individuals. The storyline of "Tabu" is straightforward, but brings to live the exotic world of the Pacific in the first half of the twentieth century and is as such part documentary.
As always with the "Master of Cinema" - series, the DVD comes with an exciting amount of extras, including a thick booklet. Especially the inclusion of the script of the original film, "Turia", makes the box a little treasure. In addition, the troubles of the making of "Tabu", including the strained relationship between Murnau and Flaherty, and the history of the reels of the film are interesting in their own right.
The story and the stunning visual effects make this unmistakably a Murnau film. Although not as good as Murnau's "Sunrise", "Tabu" is still watchable and should be part of any film historian's or early movies fan's collection.