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Sunday, January 5, 2014

White Shadows in the South Seas

 

This is the movie that induced Julian Dashwood to escape to the islands. Filmed on location in Tahiti, WHITE SHADOWS IN THE SOUTH SEAS is a superlative work. Loosely based on a 1919 book by Frederick O'Brien, the film charts the denigration of the South Sea islands and its denizens thanks to the intervention of white civilization.

Monte Blue plays a alcoholic doctor who is disgusted by the negative effects of European colonization. He sails away to an island still untouched by "white shadows", where he falls in love with native girl Raquel Torres. Enchanted by the idyllic lifestyle of the islanders, Blue reacts with horror when he sees a group of white men sailing into view, bringing their usual seductive trinkets of alcohol and cigarettes. Attempting to quell the invasion, Blue is killed. As her island falls victim to civilization, Raquel mourns over her lover's grave.

Gorgeously photographed, WHITE SHADOWS IN THE SOUTH SEAS is a masterful blend of drama and documentary.