The Orator

Director: Tusi Tamasese
Screenwriters: Tusi Tamasese

Institute History

  • 2012 Sundance Film Festival


The Oratorpremiered at the Venice Film Festival, introducing Tusi Tamasese as a fresh and powerful voice from the South Pacific. Entirely shot in Samoa, The Orator is the first Samoan feature film and has been selected as New Zealand's entry in the foreign language film category at the 84th Academy Awards.

Saili is a little person and taro farmer who lives happily with his wife, Vaaiga, and stepdaughter, Litia. But fortune turns when his family plantation is threatened and he is denied his father’s chiefly status. Vaaiga, previously banished from her village, refuses her brother’s demands to return home to restore their family to health. Suddenly and tragically, Saili’s life is turned upside down, and he must stand up to defend his land and family.

Where tradition is law, struggle is constant, and family is everything, Tusi Tamasese delivers an authentic and intimate view into the complexities of village life.

— Owl Johnson

Screening Details

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