FILM & VIDEO AVAILABLE WORLDWIDE • INQUIRE HERE


STREAMING • VHX
THEATRICAL IN JAPAN

REAL SAMOANS REACT TO MOANA

BUY NOW BDDVD

Monica Flaherty Presents a Sound Version
of Robert J. Flaherty’s Classic of the South Seas

MOANA
WITH SOUND

Directed by
Robert J. Flaherty and Frances Hubbard Flaherty,
and Monica Flaherty

USA 1980, restored 2014
1.33 Black and white
Mono sound
Running time: 98 minutes
English language inter-titles
Samoan language dialogue and songs
Contact
KINO LORBER
tel. (212) 629-6880
tel. (800) 562-3330
jhertzberg@kinolorber.com

"The debate has always been whether or not Robert J. Flaherty's far-flung films are fiction: In his 1926 Samoan island-life epic MOANA, just as in NANOOK OF THE NORTH, Flaherty pressed the native peoples he purported to document into archaic dress and practices, as fishing some long-gone way, the men flitting in and out of sun-blessed waters, is far more fascinating than the reality.

So MOANA, a film of incomparable calm and beauty, is not adocumentary 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, out of time and childlike, finding joy and meaning in toil and ceremony, gathering clams bare-breasted or shinnying up the great curved trunk of a palm tree so tall that Flaherty's camera can't capture it all in one shot.

How much is an accurate depiction of these lives? How much is profitable leering and infantilizing? As the waves crash, and the men trap tortoise and boar, and the women grind sandalwood seeds into dye for dressmaking, and we witness the stick-rubbing method of fire-making, and we marvel at the number of uses these people have devised for the placemat-wide leaves that teem everywhere in what seems to be boundless jungle, such distinctions might diminish in importance: Flaherty's company are performing their lives and their ancestors' lives and Flaherty's idea of both, for him, for his camera, for the world of '26, for us today, for all time.

The 2K digital restoration steadies a once-wild film, and on the lush and lively soundtrack — recorded in Samoa by Flaherty's daughter Monica in the 1970s — we hear the descendants of those performers performing their idea of what their predecessors sounded like. Your kids, though, are doomed forever to mix this up with Disney-princess adventure of the same title." — ALAN SCHERSTUHL, VILLAGE VOICE

SYNOPSIS AND FULL CREDITS

KINO LORBER
Theatrical/NontheatricalEducationalHome Video

INDIEWIRE
“Why ‘Moana,’ the First Docufiction in History, Deserves a New Life”

NYFF'S REVIVALS

JONATHAN ROSENBAUM
"The Warmth and Artifice of MOANA"

MUBI
"The Beautiful Lies of Robert J. Flaherty"

VALLEY NEWS
"A Lost Documentary Restored"

NGA TAONGA SOUND & VISION
"Bringing a 90-Year-Old Film of Samoa Back to Life"

"MOANA Draws Pasifika Powerhouse"

RADIO NEW ZEALAND
"Restoration of the silent classic Moana"

IT'S ALL TRUE FESTIVAL

HARVARD FILM ARCHIVE

FLAHERITIANA

FILM FORUM NYC

Exhibitions & Screenings Contact:
FILMMAKERS SHOWCASE
Skype: bruce.posner99
bcposner@gmail.com




Made in cooperation with
Alpha-Omega Digital
British Film Institute National Archive
Degeto Film
Deluxe Media-Chace Audio
DuArt
Film Preservation Associates
Filmmakers Showcase
Harbor Picture Company
The Robert and Frances Flaherty Study Center
The Library of Congress National Audio-Visual Conservation Center
Meguru Film Sound
New Zealand Archive of Film, Television and Sound
Ngā Taonga Whitiāhua Me Ngā Taonga Kōrero
Park Road Post Production
Sami van Ingen