regia / director Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, Robert J. Flaherty
Usa 1931, 87′, senza dialoghi / no dialogues
In collaborazione / In cooperation
con Società Umanitaria Cineteca Sarda, Cineforum Labirinto
Sonorizzato dal vivo da / sonorized by Roberto Durante (tastiere / keyboards), Moulaye Niang (percussioni / drums), Alvise Seggi (contrabbasso /contrabass), Florent Manneveau (sassofoni / saxophones)
Filmed entirely in the South Seas in 1929 with a nonprofessional cast and gorgeous cinematography by Floyd Crosby, this began as a collaboration with documentarist Robert Flaherty, who still shares credit for the story, though clearly the German romanticism of Murnau predominates, above all in the heroic poses of the islanders and the fateful diagonals in the compositions. The simple plot is an erotic love story involving a young woman who becomes sexually taboo when she is selected by an elder to replace a sacred maiden who has just died; an additional theme is the corrupting power of “civilization.” The exquisite tragic ending—conceived musically and rhythmically as a gradually decelerating diminuendo—is one of the pinnacles of silent cinema.