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SFFILM Festival

Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti

Directed by Edouard Deluc

France | 102

8 Apr
Sun, Apr 8, 2018 at 4:30 pm PT
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The post-impressionist painter’s first trip to French Polynesia in 1891 is the focus of this lush, semi-fictionalized biographical exploration of art and inspiration. Flush with the idea of new freedoms, Henri Gauguin (a magnetic Vincent Cassel) abandons his family and a drab Paris and sets off for Tahiti. There, he discovers both inspiration and uncertainly in Tehura, a younger islander who consents to his advances when her parents offer her to the artist as a wife.

“I like characters that are somewhat murky. Since the beginning, along with the director, we said we didn’t want to just do a film about an artist. From my perspective as a viewer, a film about an artist is a little boring. During the scenario, we were constantly focused on Gauguin’s history and journey: his anti-conformism, his faith in himself, his will, his desire, and his strength to be different. I admire these qualities. Afterwards, a big chunk of the character becomes much darker. He was someone who tended to make a scene. He came across as a rebel, much more virile that he should have been in reality. For me, it was important to allow this part of the character to be, to allow some of the disorder to linger. Gauguin was not a likeable guy. He was powerful. I find it interesting to reveal the strength of such a representative character. The question is to find out where people like him draw their power. It is often within their demons. He believed in what he was doing while no one even paid attention to his art. No one bought his paintings. But he continued to believe in himself. One of his sentences stays with me: ‘Why do you want me to follow the masters when masters became masters because they didn’t follow anyone?’” – Vincent Cassel

Director Edouard Deluc

Edouard Deluc received a César nomination for Best Short for ¿Donde está Kim Basinger? (2009). He made his feature directing debut in 2012 with Welcome to Argentina. Of his inspiration for Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti, he says, “”It’s [Gauguin’s travel diaries] that have motivated me from the beginning of this project, something [in them] resonated in me about sacrifice, creation.” (Europe 1)

Film Details

Language French, Polynesian

Year 2017

Premiere US

Runtime 102

Country France

Director Edouard Deluc

Producer Bruno Levy

Writer Edouard Deluc, Etienne Comar, Thomas Lilti, Sarah Kaminsky

Editor Guerric Catala

Cinematographer Pierre Cottereau

Music Warren Ellis

Cast Vincent Cassel, Tuheï Adams, Malik Zidi