Moana with Sound

United States 1926
In Samoan and English
98 min
Suitable for all audiences
Director: Robert J. Flaherty, Frances H. Flaherty, Monica Flaherty
Screenplay: Robert J. Flaherty, Frances H. Flaherty
Production: Robert J. Flaherty / Paramount, Monica Flaherty, Bruce Posner
Print Source: Sami van Ingen

For decades the only way you could see Moana was in its original silent state, but in 1975 Flaherty’s youngest daughter Monica set out to work a miracle. Returning to the island of Savai’i, she painstakingly created an audio soundtrack for her father’s film, complete with ambient nature sounds, dubbed dialogue (including lines provided by three surviving cast members), and, most importantly, native folk songs. The new soundtrack premiered at the Cinémathèque française in Paris in 1981, but since the original negatives no longer existed, they were paired with a ratty 16mm copy. But now, over thirty years after the premiere of Moana with Sound, a 2K restoration has given us a print worthy of Monica’s soundtrack. The new restoration is a marvel: the picture quality is as pristine as any 35mm could hope to be.

Nathanael Hood / MUBI Notebook

Distributor Sami van Ingen will introduce the film before the screening.