The Orator (O Le Tulafale) opened nationally last Thursday 17th November, and is a remarkable film for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is the first feature length film to come out of the Pacific Island nation of Samoa, which caused quite a lot of excitement at Samoa’s one and only cinema last month. Now, after garnering worldwide praise for its nuanced and honest depiction of a culture that has never before graced our screens, The Orator has been selected as the New Zealand entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 84th Academy Awards.
The Orator is the first film entirely shot in Samoa, in the Samoan language, with a Samoan cast and story. It follows Saili, a taro farmer with dwarfism, in his attempts to reclaim his father’s chief status, despite the current village chief’s skepticism. Saili must prove his oratory skills are good enough to lead the community, and must speak up to defend the ones he loves.
It’s a film that has been lauded by critics everywhere, for the “gorgeous” cinematography of Leon Narbey, as an “auspicious debut” for director Tusi Tamasese, while the story is an “exploration of love, death and bitter family conflict that unfolds in sync with the relaxed rhythms of Pacific Island life”.
World Movies is thrilled to see another language added to the film-making world. With over 40 different countries represented on our channel, we are always keen to hear about new stories and voices, and this is one you should definitely check out.
The Orator is playing in Hoyts and Event cinemas around the country now. For more information check out the official website.