An unforgettable highlight of this year’s Berlin Film Festival, Miguel Gomes’ extraordinary, lyrical film centres on the efforts of two elderly women - uptight widow Pilar (Madruga) and monosyllabic maid Santa (Cardoso) - to track down the myserious Ventura (Santo), a man their recently deceased acquaintance Aurora (Soveral) had a passionate affair with in her youth, against the backdrop of wild, Sub-Saharan Africa. Shot entirely in black and white, brimming with deliciously strange visuals, and bookended by two unforgettable flashback sequences narrated entirely through voiceover, Tabu seems to have emerged from nowhere with a cinematic language as indebted to the films of Terrence Malick as it is to early silent cinema.
Dir. Miguel Gomes, Portugal 2012, 118 mins, Portuguese with English subtitles.
Cast. Teresa Madruga, Laura Soveral, Isabel Muñoz Cardoso, Henrique Espírito Santo.