Tabu: A Story of the South Seas
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Tabu is a lyrical documentary of Polynesian life, given added audience appeal with a fictional plotline. The story concerns a young island girl (Anna Chevalier, who like everyone in the cast is a non-professional) who has been consecrated to the gods by her tribespeople. It is thus "tabu" for her to marry; still, she falls in love with a handsome young pearl fisherman (Matahi). The island's holy man takes the girl away in his schooner. Her lover swims after her, but eventually sinks disconsolately into the ocean. Shot completely on location, it was supposed to be a collaboration… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It is like a picture poem, with its sunshine and happiness in the beginning and its stormy drama in the end."
‑ Mordaunt Hall, New York Times
"Tabu is deliberate and forced in its playfulness, cheaply melodramatic in its tragedy, and unconscionably long-winded."
‑ Alexander Bakshy, The Nation
"If D.W. Griffith created the language of film, he left it up to his successors to add their own personal esthetics. On the short list of the cinema's all time greatest artists belongs the name F.W. Murnau."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"The exquisite tragic ending -- conceived musically and rhythmically as a gradually decelerating diminuendo -- is one of the pinnacles of silent cinema."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"A brilliant film that deservedly won the Best Cinematography Oscar."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"As with so many other great films, this one carries its own burden of real life sorrow."
‑ John G. Nettles, PopMatters
"Brilliantly simple lyrical film was shot on location in Tahiti."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Magnificent, filled with shimmering, luminescent images that evoke both paradise and paradise lost."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
More reviews for Tabu: A Story of the South Seas on Rotten Tomatoes