Synopsis: Set on a remote Pacific island, covered in rain forest and dominated by an active volcano, this heartfelt story, enacted by the Yakel tribe, tells of a sister's loyalty, a forbidden love affair and the pact between the old ways and the new.
Production: Screen Australia
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 17 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
104 min

Since the beginning of time,

the chiefs have arranged marriage

along the Kastom Roads,

but two lovers chose

to walk a different path...




My friend has come back to the village.

Can you cook the taros?

I want to go now.

Selin, come back!

- Where is taboo?

- Not here.

Hold tight.

- Where is the taboo place?

- Here.

Catch her.

Get Selin.

We'll hide. You find us.

I've missed you.

You've been away too long.

You're all grown up now.

A beautiful butterfly.

You catch a lot of butterflies like that?

Selin, go away!

How did you find me?

I know all your hiding places.

What did you see?

I saw you playing

with the chief's grandson.

Don't say anything to mum or dad.

They'll get angry.

Do you want me to lie for you?

Stop following me everywhere I go.

When you wear this skirt, Wawa,

the boys will be falling over

themselves to catch you.

Hold onto it and run for your life!

Wawa, you'll look as beautiful as your

grandmother when she was young.

I obviously didn't run fast enough.

Mum, I'm tired of doing this.

I want to play with my friends.

We're making this skirt

for your initiation.

You're not a child anymore.

Do you understand?

Selin, go help

your mother and sister.

The men will work here.

Go on.

I told you to help your mother.

Father, Selin doesn't listen to us.

Can you help?

Yes, it's time.

Hurry, get my penis sheath!

Catch her, she stole my penis sheath!


Selin, come back.

Selin is going into the taboo place.

Hey Selin, come back.

Selin, what are you doing

running into forbidden ground?

The Imedin have killed our people here.

Never come here again.

The warriors are everywhere.

This is not yours to take.


Get moving.

I don't know what's got into you.

Your grandfather is taking you

to Yahul to teach you respect.

When we return from the waterfall

we'll show the men you are now a woman.

Put some coconut oil on my

hard-working bum and belly.

Soon the chiefs will arrange

your marriage to another tribe.

You'll sit with me to learn

about being a good wife

and a good mother.

You're a woman now.

Put some more paint

on her beautiful cheeks.

We'll show you off.

Thank you.

Wawa, you disappeared

after the ceremony.

Where did you go?

I was playing with friends, Grandma.

Good morning, sleepy head.

Are you ready for your big journey?

Hey, where are you going?

I'm taking you to Yahul, our Spirit Mother.

Is it far?

It's time you learned

the meaning of respect.

If you want to go anywhere,

ask your parents first.

You have to start being more responsible.

Where are you?


Thanks, but are you listening to me?

It can be dangerous out here,

so don't wander off again.

If your mother and father

tell you to do anything,

you must obey them.

You must never refuse...

Never touch those mushrooms.

They're poisonous.


But they look like the ones mum cooks.

I know, but never eat

the ones which grow on trees...

The Yakel shaman is going to Yahul.

He's the one who made our crops fail.

See that bay?

That's where Captain Cook landed.

All across the island

people have left the old ways.

They've become lost.

Our tribes are the last keepers of Kastom.

We have to hold it tight to survive.

Yahul has been here longer than any of us.

She is the source of life, love and Kastom.

When you look into Her heart,

you will understand.

Don't be afraid of Her.

Let's get closer.

I feel Her.

Her warmth.

I hear Her.

- She's talking to me.

- That's right.

You've been given a special gift.



They attacked Grandpa.

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"Tanna" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 20 Sep. 2020. <https://www.scripts.com/script/tanna_19385>.

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