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Moana: A Romance of The Golden Age


Sat 3 Sep 2016, 4:30pm–6:50pm

Where: Nga Taonga Sound & Vision, 84 Taranaki St, Te Aro, Wellington

Restrictions: All Ages

Join us for a screening of the restored 1926 film "Moana: A Romance of the Golden Age."

Just as the upcoming Disney movie "Moana" is currently raising controversy for its oafish, slapstick depiction of Maui, the 90-year-old "Moana" also lends itself to debate.

As New York film editor and writer Alan Scherstuhl writes of the 1926 film: "'Moana', a film of incomparable calm and beauty, is not a documentary in the strict sense, but it remains a document of great historical truth: Here is how Flaherty and the Western world preferred to imagine that tribal cultures lived. How much is an accurate depiction of these lives?”

Co-directed by husband and wife team Robert and Frances Flaherty and shot in the Safune district, Savai’i, Samoa in 1923-24, "Moana" is the first feature-length film to be noted as having “documentary value.” In 1975 Monica Flaherty returned to Savai’i to create a soundtrack for her parents’ silent film. Independent film archivist Bruce Posner restored and digitally remastered the film in 2014.

In May this year, a private screening of the restored film was held in Wellington for descendants of the Safune district. "It was important to return this footage first of all to the people whose ancestors’ lives and images are recorded in this film," says Diane Pivac, Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision’s Outreach & Engagement Manager.

Restaurants to book near Moana: A Romance of The Golden Age