|Tanna - Venice Film Festival|
From the Hollywood Reporter:
"It's not often you hear the mischievous games of laughing children punctuated by the vexed cry of a boy yelling, "Catch her! She stole my penis sheath!" But then, the tiny island setting that gives Tanna its title, and the purity of the traditional tribal villagers who enact a story tied to their recent past, give that odd line a disarming innocence.
This unique narrative debut from Australian documentary team Bentley Dean and Martin Butler is a soulful folktale encompassing both tragedy and hope. Told with captivating simplicity and yet richly cinematic, it combines ethnographic and spiritual elements in a haunting love story with classic undertones, affording a glimpse into a little-known culture."
|Marie Wawa and Mungau Dain in Tanna|
The Yakel belief-system is called "Kastom," and it guides all aspects of their lives. They want to share their culture with the world, which is why they made a movie, and why they came to Venice. Before being approached by filmmakers Bentley Dean and Martin Butler, they did not know what a movie was.
|The Yakel are in the House! Venice Film Festival|
The Hollywood Reporter said, "Speaking in their native Nauvhal language and clad only in sheaths for the men and grass skirts for the women, they are irresistible natural performers informed by a culture in which storytelling plays a vital role. And one couldn't ask for a more tender or memorable pair of star-crossed screen lovers than Wawa and Dain."
The ancient tribal system of arranged marriages was changed after a rash of heartbroken suicides in the 80s shocked the tribe into realizing that the law was harming their culture -- if lovers killed themselves because they could not marry, there would be less children, and fewer individuals to carry on the traditions. The Yakel now recognize "love marriage," and say that making the film has strengthened their culture.
|Marie Wawa and Mungau Dain|
|JJ Nako, Yakel Cultural Director|
JJ said that he was proud of himself. "It is because of my passion that we are here." They never expected to be in Venice, but all of them were grateful and proud: "We feel at home." The village wants to communicate their way of life with the rest of the world. They ask: "What can you learn from us?"
Ciao from the Venice Film Festival,
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog