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Monica in the South Seas

Finland202372minDCPColor/B&WG

Korean Premiere

REVIEW

 50 years after the release of Moana, Rober Flaherty and Frances Flaherty’s youngest daughter, Monica, visits Samoa Island in 1975. On the island of childhood memories, she captures sounds, conversations, and traditional music of natives to re-create her parent’s silent film into a sound film. Sami Van Ingen is the great-grandson of Flaherty, and he works with the co-director, Mika Taanila, to complete by reorganizing the production process of with various data that Monica Flaherty left. The film starts with Monica Flaherty’s group and a voice of voice actor reading a script written in the first-person view of Monica. Monica visits Samoa Island based on her childhood memories and uses contemporary sound to fill up the images in the film, which was created half a century ago. Monica in the South Seas crafts these processes in a delicately expressed essay-style film. The film makes the audience think about the long controversies over the methodology of Robert Flaherty, who recorded things that disappeared by recalling traces of memory. Monica in the South Seas clearly shows the need to examine the legacies that Flaherty left.

SYNOPSIS

July 1975. Monica Flaherty, daughter of Robert and Francis Flaherty, cinéma vérité pioneer Ricky Leacock and Sarah Hudson – Ricky’s student at MIT – travel to Samoa, to the island of Savai ́i. Monica’s aim is to create a perfect sound version of the silent feature film Moana(1926), directed by her parents in her childhood paradise.

Monica, Richard and Sarah record sounds scene by scene to match the initial ambience and action of Moana, “an authentic record of this dying culture”. Being alien to Samoan culture, Monica, Sarah and Ricky are soon pulled in a complex dynamics of gifts, exchange and honoring.​ 

DIRECTOR

Mika TAANILA
Mika Taanila’s documentaries have been screened at numerous international film festivals. Feature doc Return of the Atom (co-directed with Jussi Eerola) won the Nordic Dox Award (Best Nordic documentary) at CPH:DOX in 2015, Tectonic Plate (74 min, fiction) was premiered at Berlinale in 2016. Other festival screenings for Taanila’s films include TIFF, IFFR, Clermont-Ferrand, Karlovy-Vary, IDFA, and International Short Film Festival Oberhausen. His moving image installations have been shown at major international group shows, such as Kassel Documenta, Venice Biennale, Aichi Triennale, Shanghai Biennale, Berlin Biennale, and Manifesta.
Sami VAN INGEN
Sami van Ingen is one of the pioneers of experimental filmmaking in Finland. He has made over 30 short films, mostly dealing subtly with the act of seeing and using various strategies to manipulate found or forgotten footage. His short film Flame (2018) has won several awards at international festivals. Van Ingen’s films have been screened at festivals like EIFF, Karlovy-Vary, IFFR, BFI London Film Festival, International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, and at institutions like the National Gallery of Art in Washington and Centre Pompidou.

Schedule

Code Time Theater Grade
334 2023-09-17 | 17:30 - 18:42 Megabox Baekseok Bella Citta 104 GV
636 2023-09-20 | 17:00 - 18:12 Megabox Baekseok Bella Citta 105 GV

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