A love story told in two unique parts, TABU is, quite simply, a film unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Deftly moving between contemporary Portugal, colonial Africa and the landscape of dreams, director Miguel Gomes conjures an enthralling story of obsession, memory and dangerous forbidden romance.
“Prompted something approaching a collective swoon at its world premiere. The strange magic of Mr. Gomes’s films stems in part from the way they utterly thwart classification. His 2008 feature, OUR BELOVED MONTH OF AUGUST, is a fiction that becomes a documentary of its own creation. TABU, which manages to be dryly absurd and deeply romantic, begins with a surreal vignette about a widowed hunter who throws himself to the crocodiles, and perhaps comes back as one. It moves on to recount a few days in the lives of a devout spinster, her tale-spinning elderly neighbor and the neighbor’s stoic maid in modern-day Lisbon; and makes one more startling leap to the mountainside plains of an unnamed Portuguese colony in Africa decades earlier to chronicle an impossible love…TABU – named for the final film by F.W. Murnau, one of cinema’s great romantics, and filmed in luminous black-and-white – is a living, breathing demonstration of cinephilia in action.” – Dennis Lim, The New York Times.
Director Miguel Gomez. 118 mins, not rated. In Portugese, English and Polish with English subtitles.