Kenneth Turan's DVD pick of the week: Tales of the South Pacific

Kenneth Turan
Contact ReporterLos Angeles Times Film Critic

Movies loved the South Pacific as a location back in the day, and two fine new releases from Kino Lorber take us back to those golden times.

“Tabu,” directed by F.W. Murnau and co-written by him and pioneering documentarian Robert Flaherty, tells a classic story of a forbidden romance between a pearl fisherman and a woman who has been declared forbidden, or “tabu.” Often available in truncated form, this release runs the full 86 minutes.

“Moana With Sound” started life in 1926 when Flaherty, working as a director, went to Samoa to do a documentary on the vanishing local culture. Half a century later, his daughter Monica went back and recorded an audio track of authentic sounds and voices. Now that track has been married to a fine 35mm print, and what results is fascinating.

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