With the Oscars (almost) imminent, I note that in the ‘Foreign Language film’ category is a movie set in Vanuatu, called ‘Tanna’.

The film is in the Nivhaal language, and it’s essentially a love story between people in, and beyond, tribes who live, undiscovered by modernity, in the jungle. Indeed, Nivhaal, related to another language called Tanna, appears to be so obscure that both are sort of almost untouched by the internet in terms of me being able to do any further research on them.


The case appear to spend the film (and subsequent ‘red carpet’ appearances) class in nothing but grass skirts, for the females, or grass loincloths for the males, and the film’s promotional material shows off bare buttocks and a topless female (see above).


The cast at the Venice film festival







The film, if nothing else, should remind us that (i) big themes such as love, and tribal fighting, are universal, whether touched by modernity or not and (ii) clothes are often imposed upon us by ‘modern, progressive’ society, whether required or not. In the heat of Polynesian islands there’s not much requirement. Indeed, in the heat of 21st century, modern, progressive France, Spain or the Greek Islands, there’s not much requirement there either. Less clothing means more comfort, so why shouldn’t we adopt the minimum of clothes where the weather permits? Why sweat, chafe or itch in items of clothing not necessarily required…apart from society’s demands that ‘this is what we do…we’re modern and we’re still horribly tied to the mindset of Christian missionaries from a century and a half back’.

The Marketplace has several grass skirts for sale, and the one we’ve picked up cost L$25, and is closest in style to the clothing of Vanuatu. The photo was taken at the Amazon series of sims, the closest SL probably has to ‘undiscovered jungle’.


While not being an exact match for male clothing, we did find one male loincloth that would sort of replicate the male wardrobe of Vanuatu, priced at L$125.



I’ve no idea if the film will win its category, but it’s certainly good that routine semi-nudity is shown to an international audience without any sort of sexual connotations applied.


(nb: my foot injury is much better, I’m mobile and can sit with comfort now. Work is settling back into its normal groove now that some sense of ‘it’s not new anymore’ calm has settled on world politics -although how long this continues is debatable- so it’s back to a more normal blogging schedule here on SLN).