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A film by Edouard Deluc

Vincent Cassel plays Paul Gauguin, the venerable post-impressionist French painter who travelled to Tahiti in Polynesia to discover himself. Not long after arriving, he falls sick – but is given a new lease on life when he meets Tehura (Tuheï Adams), whom he swiftly marries. She inspires him to paint again, and he works day and night, with her a frequent model for his work.

It’s the authenticity in his environment that he needed to reignite the passion for his craft, away from the tedium and artificiality of his life back home. But it’s not an easy ride: while he falls in love with his new wife and the land he inhabits, he has to deal with further health problems and severe poverty.

As expected, Cassel is magnetic in the leading role, depicting with conviction the highs and lows Gauguin faced, expressing the contrasting aspects of the character’s demeanour so well. As the narrative progresses it becomes something of a two-hander, culminating in an intriguing study of the complex romance between two people from wildly different cultures.

At times, the slow-burning nature of the piece can be testing to the viewer, but it remains a fascinating period in Gauguin’s life to explore, and when coupled with the remarkable lead performance by Cassel, you’re left with a biopic that’s definitely worth catching.

Courtesy: Stefan Pape, HeyUGuys

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Directed by: 
Édouard Deluc
Running Time: 
French and Polynesian with English Subtitles
Vincent Cassel, Tuheï Adams, Malik Zidi, Pua-Taï Hikutini, Pernille Bergendorff
Official site: 
Screenplay by: 
Édouard Deluc, Étienne Comar, Thomas Lilti, Sarah Kaminsky

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