TABU a film by Miguel Gomes
Nothing's said till it's dreamed out in words
And nothing's true that figures in words only.
Les. A Murray (The Daylight moon-1987) 'Poetry and Religion'
Occasionally a film comes along that makes you sit and watch it with eyes wide open, and any interruption will be snarled at. Tabu is so unique that as a filmmaker faith in the art itself will replenish the creative streak that at times hides for any number of reasons. Tabu is filmed in Black and White. This makes it all the more stronger. The visuals therefore are stark. The film is separated in two parts. Part one aptly named, Paradise Lost which follows the life of Pilar in contemporary Portugal who painstakingly attempts to support her friend, Aurora, who gambles and who thinks that her maid is practising voodoo against her. When Aurora falls violently ill, she asks for one man to come to her bedside, Gian Luca, the love of her life from fifty years ago. What then follows is part two, Paradise, and for me, and in complete narration, I deem this part genius.
Miguel Gomes, as director achieves a dream, whereby he combines brilliancy in the script, an extraordinary adventure and two lovers who entwined in their emotions, passions and whirlwind of an affair find tragedy. The push and pull intensifies between them, until they can no longer be together. There is no woe in the separation, nor in the state of each other at the end of their lives, having forsaken each other, but there is total admiration for the adventure that Gomes puts them in.
It is this aspect, coupled with the incredible script that had me mesmerized. The setting in Africa, allows the magic of film to transpire to the audience and a pet crocodile at the centre of their love becomes completely intriguing. Adventure in film is so important. It provides the utmost in visual stimulation. The script, and the power of every single word spoken is pure charm, music to the ears. So when the two; the strong visuals and the strong words of script come together, then there is perfection.
It is no wonder then that Tabu was a winner at the Berlin Film Festival. More importantly though, it allowed me to think about filmmaking in a different light and to understand that the adventure and the poetic script, combined together will always make a difference and stand out from the rest.
Stella Dimadis 2013