Skip to main content
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track on the Olympic Games
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week for 24 weeks
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track onthe Olympics Games
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Tanna was filmed on filmed on the untouched-by-time island country of Vanuatu using untrained actors.

Title
Tanna
Written by
Martin Butler, John Collee, Bentley Dean,
Directed by
Martin Butler, Bentley Dean
Starring
Marie Wawa, Mungau Dain
Classification
PG
Country
Australia, Vanuatu
Language
Nauvhal

Tanna would have made a fine animated feature, not that it isn't a lovely-to-look-at romantic drama. As well, apparently inspired by a true story, Tanna has all the ingredients for a compelling documentary. Or a play – Romeo and Juliet meets South Pacific, perhaps. Now that you know what Tanna isn't, here's what it is: A straightforward story about star-crossed lovers, filmed on the untouched-by-time island country of Vanuatu using untrained "actors" who probably have never watched a film, let alone starred in one. Nominated as the Australian entry for best foreign-language film at this year's Academy Awards, the allegorical Tanna is about warring tribalism, stubbornly held traditions, harsh coming-of-age realities and curious loincloth situations. A young couple who believe a volcano is a god are weirded out by Christians. (Religious types watching the film may laugh at the islanders' spiritual primitivism, but the joke's on them.) A couple or 11 fewer volcano shots wouldn't have been missed, but otherwise the film uses its 100 minutes smartly. Emotional notes are hit neatly and refreshingly. We learn that times change but people don't – except that they can and sometimes do.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies