Moana | Chicago Reader

Moana

Robert Flaherty's 1925 follow-up to Nanook of the North is a semifictional study of a village in the Samoan islands, framed by a story of a boy's ritual initiation into manhood. This is the film on which much of Flaherty's reputation as the cinema's most important documentarist rests, but its sentimental devices have become painfully obvious with the passing of time. Still, Flaherty's sticky romanticism can't obscure the power of his images, which speak with an eloquence the intertitles lack. Screening in a restored print, with an added soundtrack by Flaherty's daughter, Monica, and documentary maker Richard Leacock.

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