The Orator

  • Year:2011
  • Rating:PG
  • Director:Tusi Tamasese
  • Cast:Tausili Pushparaj, Fiaula Sanote
  • Release Date:February 16, 2012
  • Distributor:Paramount
  • The Film:3.5
  • The Disc:2.0

“...watchable and even enlightening...”

5bafa09b749da49478fa.jpg

Writer/director Tusi Tamasese's New Zealand/Samoan co-production, shot on the beautiful island of Upolu and the first film ever in the Samoan language, is perhaps a little slow and meandering at times, and yet the strong, naturalistic performances and raw emotions certainly keep it compelling.

Often silent dwarf farmer Saili (an excellent Fa'afiaula Sanote) lives with his wife Vaaiga (Tausili Pushparaj) and growing-up daughter Litia (Salamasina Mataia), and all seem content enough considering that, for 17 years, Saili and Vaaiga have been banished from the village. And, all the while, a series of issues are facing the community beyond them: the old chief is giving way to an as-yet-undecided new one; threats have been made against Saili and his plantation by some of the villagers; and the ‘blossoming' Litia has been provoking others. Circumstance dictates that Saili speak up (and therefore become ‘The Orator' of the title) - but will he?

A film that could have been shortened by 20 or 30 minutes (Tamasese mistakes a little ponderousness for profundity), this is nevertheless watchable and even enlightening, with Sanote offering a truly fine, measured and moving performance, even despite rarely opening his mouth. Extra features include a short film and ‘music from The Orator'.

follow us on twitter
like us on facebook

latest categories

DVD

latest issue

Filmink latest issue

latest news

Australian Win At TIFF
Australian Win At TIFF

Local filmmaker Sotiris Dounoukos makes a short film in France that wins at Toronto Film Fest, and is now gearing up to adapt controversial Helen Garner book.

These People Are Going To BOFA
These People Are Going To BOFA

Tasmania’s Breath of Fresh Air Film Festival is about to crack open its fifth year with the best program to date.

Antenna Film Festival Transmits Full Program
Antenna Film Festival Transmits Full Program

If you love docos, then look no further than this fest dedicated to the art form.

These Final Hours Actress To Star With Gosling and Crowe
These Final Hours Actress To Star With Gosling and Crowe

Angourie Rice, who made such an impression alongside Nathan Phillips in ‘These Final Hours’, breaks into the big time.