Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Teine Sā - The Ancient Ones - 2021 HIFF Movie Review

The Movie: Teine Sā - The Ancient Ones

The Directors: Matasila Freshwater, Mario Faumui, Miki Magasiva, Vela Manusaute, Mario Gaoa

The Cast: Frankie Adams, Elsie Polosovai, Dominic Ona-Ariki, Joseph Naufahu, Yvonne Maea-Brown, Daniel Watterson, Aleni Tufuga

The Story: The ancient female spirits of the Pacific are stirring. Revered and feared, these sacred goddesses have crept back into the modern world to engage with five women each facing their own demons.

The Review:
This anthology film is a collection of shorts that previously aired as a limited TV series, each one highlighting legendary Goddesses who hailed from the Pacific Island regions and probably scared the crap out of little kids as their tales were woven into the fabric of their native cultures. Each film has a different director and with that comes along with a unique vision and visual style although there is definitely a consistent theme and narrative that carries through the entire film.

There isn't a literally connective piece or over arcing narrative but the stories are definitely akin to each other and, as mentioned, feature spirits that appear to teach lessons to those who defy, ignore, or disregard them, sometimes in extreme fashion because otherwise this wouldn't be a horror movie. A lot of the lessons being taught in these stories are about respecting cultural traditions, respecting and honoring women, and preserving sacred lands and the people who are not doing these things pay for it in some very interesting ways.

What I like about this anthology most is the consistency between each of the episodes or shorts, it really feels like they all exist in the same overall space which of course makes you think about the possibility of bringing them all together because that's what movies do now days. As is, it's a very complete movie and one that should be watched by all as a way to learn some of the culture and history of Polynesian deities brought to you by Polynesian filmmakers.

The Verdict:
Teine Sā - The Ancient Ones is a very welcome entry into the horror landscape which has needed an injection of authentic diversity from underrepresented regions and filmmakers. The collection of stories is legitimately entertaining, at times shocking, and filled with rich and vibrant storytelling.

To keep track of all my HIFF reviews and festival coverage please go to: TwoOhSix at HIFF 2021.

Check out the Podcast!

No comments :

Post a Comment

The Hot List