The Tahitian (1956)

Genres - Drama  |   Run Time - 79 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Almost a throwback to the silent "docudramas" of Robert Flaherty, The Tahitian was filmed on location with a largely native cast. Taia Tepava plays a tribal medicine man who resists all efforts by the local authorities to bring modern medical advancements to his people. He is particularly obstreperous when it comes to introducing an anti-malaria vaccine. Only when his old son hovers between life and death does the medicine man agree to give the scientists' newfangled methods a try. The film's romantic subplot is carried by a pair of beautiful young Tahitians, male and female, billed only as Vahio and Ana. Shot on 16-millimeter film, The Tahitian was blown up to 35-mm for theatrical distribution; the film was coproduced by former actress Lotus Long.

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Keywords

disease, doctor/nurse, enemy, epidemic, malaria, medicine-man, plague, scientist, technology-vs-superstition