The first Samoan feature film, “The Orator (O Le Tulafale)” is a prolific story about the dynamic of loyalty and love within a marriage and defending honor and tradition of a Samoan family. Samoan Writer and Director of the film, Tusi Tamasese, took the tradition of story telling and transformed it to this relevant film. The Orator was filmed in majestic Upolu, Samoa, with an entirely Samoan cast, in the Samoan language. Tamasese takes us into a village tucked in a beautiful tropic backcountry that is untouched by western influences. We’re introduced to a llittle person and unlikely hero, Saili, his banished wife, Vaaiga, and her 17yr. old daughter, Litia.
The film has gained interest by international film critics and was accepted in the 68th Venice International Film Festival and has been selected as New Zealand’s entry in the foreign language film category at the 84th Academy Awards. The Orator, recently made its way to the largest independent cinema festival for International film makers in the US, The Sundance Film Festival and is bound to make more waves throughout the world.
The movie is polished finely and the quality is superb. The film captivates you in with the landscape and puts you under a spell of intrigue until the credits roll. I caught a glimpse of this picturesque island and its people as they continue tradition in the eyes of adversity. Tamasese proved his passion, perspective and creativity will not go unnoticed and that his gift,“The Orator,” is bringing interest to the Island of Samoa which is well deserved. I recommend this film to everyone and state that ethnicity, economic status, zip code, sex (or perference) and age is not a factor in its relevance to you. It speaks to all who have a heart and I encourage watching the film with your children. The education gained from watching this film can not be taught in a classroom and that’s WhatItDo!
WhatitDo Rating: WWWW – Definitely WhatItDo!!
Film Review By: Marina Latu