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OCEAN

Italy, 1971 (MIFF 1972)

Director: Folco Quilici

A South Sea islander, Tanai, sets out on a pirogue to find a sackful of earth on another island, where he could plant a cutting of the "uru", the breadfruit tree, and settle down to raise a family.

On his journey, he braves the elements, faces hunger and thirst, survives an epic storm and shipwreck. Tanai's adventure has a magic quality, a touch of the myth of the great transmigrations: on his primitive odyssey, he meets a Polynesian Nausicaa, a Papuan Circe, he visits the ascent to the throne of the gods (Easter Island), and the descent to hell in a prison on the Trobriands.

Fact and fantasy mix freely in this fictional documentary. More than a superlatively shot travelogue, the film is a paean to the will to live, human drive and endeavour.

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© Melbourne International Film Festival 2013.

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