Monica in the South Seas

Finland 2023
In English and Samoan, English and Finnish subtitles
72 min
Suitable for all ages
Director: Sami van Ingen, Mika Taanila
Screenplay: Sami van Ingen, Mika Taanila
Cast: Monica Flahery Frassetto, Richard Leacock, Sarah Hudson, Fa'agase Su'a-Filo, Pe'a Taule'ale'ausumai
Production: Jussi Eerola / Testifilmi
Print Source: Elokuvayhtiö Testifilmi

July 1975. Monica Flaherty, daughter of Robert and Francis Flaherty, cinema vérité pioneer Ricky Leacock and Sarah Hudson – Ricky’s student at MIT – travel to Samoa, to the island of Savai ́i. Monica’s aim is to create a perfect sound version of the silent feature film Moana (1926), directed by her parents in her childhood paradise.

Monica, Richard and Sarah record sounds scene by scene to match the initial ambience and action of Moana, “an authentic record of this dying culture”. Together, they record the sounds of birds, fire, ocean waves and the blow-holes by the sea. Being alien to Samoan culture, Monica, Sarah and Ricky are soon pulled in a complex dynamics of gifts, exchange and honoring.

Tytti Rantanen

Director Sami van Ingen will introduce the film before the screening. After the screening, there will be a Q&A.