April 11, 2019

Tabu [2012]

Please join Cultivate Cinema Circle and Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center as we present a year-long series entitled Post-Colonialisms: World Cinema and Human Consequence. We continue with Miguel Gomes’s critically-acclaimed Tabu [2012].

  • Screening Date: Thursday, April 11th, 2019 | 7:00pm
  • Venue: Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center
  • Specifications: 2012 / 118 minutes / Portuguese with English subtitles / Black and White
  • Director(s): Miguel Gomes
  • Print: Supplied by Kino Lorber
  • Tickets: $8 general, $6 students & seniors, $5 members

Event Sponsors:

Venue Information:

341 Delaware Ave, Buffalo, NY 14202

TrailerSynopsisDirector BioLinks

Courtesy of website:

Acclaimed director Miguel Gomes returns with a sumptuous, eccentric two-part tale centered on Aurora, shown first as an impulsive, cantankerous elderly woman in present-day Lisbon. When Aurora is hospitalized, she sends her neighbor, Pilar, to pass word of her grave condition to Gian Luca, a man of which no one has ever heard her speak. Pilar’s quest to fulfill her friend’s wish transports us to Africa fifty years earlier, before the start of the Portuguese Colonial War. We see Aurora again, this time as the gorgeous, smoldering wife of a wealthy young farmer, involved in a forbidden love affair with Gian Luca, her husband’s best friend. Their moving, poetic tale is conveyed through the older Gian Luca’s suave voiceover, combined with the lush, melodious sounds of its heady, tropical setting, peppered with a soundtrack of Phil Spector songs.


  • Berlin International Film Festival – 2012 – Winner: FIPRESCI Prize
  • Toronto International Film Festival – 2012
  • New York Film Festival – 2012
  • AFI Fest – 2012

“Cinema is a game.”

Courtesy of Arabian Nights press kit:

Miguel Gomes was born in Lisbon in 1972. He studied cinema and worked as film critic for the Portuguese press until the year 2000.

Miguel has directed several short films and made his first feature The Face You Deserve in 2000. Our beloved Month of August (2008) and Tabu (2012) came to confirm his success and international recognition. Tabu was released at Berlinale’s Competition, where it won the Alfred Bauer and FIPRESCI award; the movie was sold to over 50 countries and won dozens of awards.

Retrospectives of Miguel’s work have been programmed at the Viennale, the BAFICI, the Torino Film Festival, in Germany and in the USA. Redemption, his most recent short film, premiered in 2013 at Venice Film Festival.


  • The Tsugua Diaries (2021)
  • Savagery (2020)
  • Arabian Nights: Volume 3 – The Enchanted One (2015)
  • Arabian Nights: Volume 2 – The Desolate One (2015)
  • Arabian Nights: Volume 1 – The Restless One (2015)
  • Tabu (2012)
  • Our Beloved Month of August (2008)
  • The Face You Deserve (2004)

Here is a curated selection of links shared on our Facebook page for additional insight/information:

  • 4/8/19 – “Truly a time-machine, Tabu does feel like something new (unlike say, last year’s big winner, The Artist). Even, or rather, especially on repeated viewings. Gomes’s movie is so ingenuous, well-executed, and filled with unexpected cinematic pleasures that it’s restorative—a movie to reconfirm your faith in the motion picture medium.” J. Hoberman, Artinfo – link
  • 4/10/19 – “…the thing about Tabu is that it is colonialism of the Out of Africa kind of colonialism, it’s the colonialism if the white people who are self-centered—or white material—who themselves who seem to define colonialism from movies. So they’re staging it, you’re staging it, and then finally there’s the letter, which is the final moment, which is also staging it. So there are all these layers of it being projected. And it being the memories of the dead woman.” David Phelps, MUBI – link

Leave a Reply