Tanna

A very beautiful and dramatic love story set on the island of Tanna (part of Vanuatu), which features the Yakel people as actors – most of whom either play themselves or versions of themselves. The story – about a doomed marriage and the way a relationship exacerbates tensions between rival tribes – is based on true events, and is similar in many respects to Romeo And Juliet; in fact the link is played up on a few occasions. It’s a simple tale, acted well, and there are certainly insights into the Yakel way of life, particularly in terms of arranged marriage and the way that women in this society can be used as bartering tools with other tribes. The element I enjoyed the most is the cinematography, with plenty of good use made of the stunning, volcanic landscape, particularly at night or at dawn. (***)