Oklahoma City University | 'Tanna' screens October 22 Skip to content

'Tanna' screens October 22

The 36th Annual Film Series continues Sunday, October 22, 2pm with Tanna, directed by Martin Butler and Brantley Dean, Vanuatu/Australia (2015), 104 min.

On the Pacific island of Tanna, the Yakel tribe lives a simple life, one ruled by traditions passed down for generations. However, when two young sweethearts defy marital law, the small community is placed on a precarious perch between respect of ancestry, fear of intertribal violence, and love of family. Based on local history and performed by the Yakel people, the film transcends mere plot and transforms into an intimate cultural artifact, an uninflected portrait of a group as they see themselves. Directors Butler and Dean (First Footprints) are known for their respectful work in facilitating the stories of indigenous peoples. Endowed with a collaborative spirit uniquely its own, this Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film serves as a testament to the power of community storytelling in modern independent filmmaking, a groundbreaking tribute to tradition and modernity both. Tanna represents the first-ever Melanesian film in our series.

The Film Institute is supported by the Thatcher Hoffman Smith Endowment and OKCU’s Center for Interpersonal Studies through Film and Literature.

A discussion will follow the presentation for those who wish to stay.

Praise for Tanna

“Less fixated than 2015’s Embrace of the Serpent on the threat to indigenous people from the outside, Tanna is an open-throated and universal call for change from within.” Phil Hoad, The Guardian

“Dean and Butler breathe new life into their premise—based on real-life circumstances that plagued Tanna’s tribes in the ‘80s—through loving attentiveness to their setting’s verdant colors and bustling sounds.” Nick Schager, The Village Voice

Viewing Notes for Tanna

For more films in the 2017-2018 series, read more HERE.

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