Tusi Tamasese’s first feature tells the story of a taro farmer (real life farmer Fa’afiaula Sagote) who finds the courage to stand tall for his family and culture, and stand up to sceptical villagers. Variety called it “compelling drama”. Though previous films (eg. Flying Fox on a Freedom Tree) have told stories inspired by Samoan writers, The Orator is the first feature written and directed by a Samoan, and the first filmed in Samoan. In its debut at the prestigious Venice Film Festival it won a special jury mention in the Orizzonti (New Horizons) section.
The weather was destroying everything during shooting — at home it's so unpredictable. It will rain one minute and be very sunny the next. It's very, very hot. I'm really grateful that I picked the right crew.- Tusi Tamasese on shooting Samoa - NZ Herald, 8 September 2011.
Title licensed by NZ Film Commission.
Music composed by Tim Prebble