Dir. by Robert J. Flaherty, Frances H. Flaherty and Monica Flaherty
approx. 98 minutes
Originally released in 1926, this landmark in documentary filmmaking was restored by the Flahertys’ daughter Monica in 1980. Originally touted as “The Love Life of a South Seas Siren!,” with accompanying bare bosom artwork, documentary pioneer Flaherty’s second feature after Nanook of the North is actually a serene look at the lives of the lovely and gentle Samoans, made entirely on location in the island paradise of Savai’i. In 1923, Flaherty journeyed with his wife Frances and their children to the South Seas island to film the exotic lifestyles of the Samoan people, resurrecting their recently vanished customs and capturing them before modernization permanently altered their way of life. Over fifty years later, Flaherty’s daughter Monica returned to the island with verité legend Ricky Leacock, recording authentic location sound, dialogue and folks songs to complement her father’s exquisite images.
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NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.