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Film Festival
of Navarra
Film Festival
of Navarra

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Study of an island

Country: Germany
Year: 1979
Duration: 192'
Direction: Rudolf Thome, Cynthia Beatt
Writer: Rudolf Thome
Cinematographer: Mathew Flannagan, Sebastian Schroeder
Editor: Clarissa Ambach
Cast: Cynthia Beatt, Gabrielle Baur, Susanne Christmann, Edda Köchl, Otto Kayser, Brian Beatt
Production: Moana-Film Gmbh


This film with a marked ethnographic nature, which was filmed without a pre-established plan and with a script that crosses the lines of documentary and fiction, tells the story of a group of five Germans who arrive on a remote island in the South Pacific called Parapara and belonging to Vanuatu. Their aim is to prepare a publication on the lives of the inhabitants of this remote island.  The tasks were personally assigned: one would study the language, another would study the fauna; another the traditions, institutions and family systems; another the plants and another the songs and stories. However, the blind trust in the western scientific objective clashes head-on with the values and customs of the natives. Therefore, from the very beginning, the head of the tribe does not cease to ask and express his surprise regarding some foreigners “who have not come to rob his land”. On the other hand, as the film progresses, the head of the expedition is clear about one sentence: “the more time we spend on the island, the less we know it”. 

Rudolf Thome, Cynthia Beatt

(Wallau, Germany, 1939)

Son of a bookseller, this German director, screenwritter and producer falls into a current of German filmmakers influenced by Jean-Luc Godard and American tradition known as New Munich Group (Neue Münchner Gruppe), along with other filmmakers like Max Zihlmann, Klaus Lemke or Eckhart Schmidt. In 1960, he registered to study German and History. In 1962, he started working as a film critic for publications, such as Süddeutsche Zeitung. Between 1964 and 1968, he began his career as a filmmaker, shooting short fictional films before making Detektive, Rote Sonne, Supergirl, a free adaptation of DC Comics, and Fremde Stadt. In 1973, he move to Western Berlin with his wife at that time, the producer, Karin Thome, and combined his work as a director with that of a film critic for publications such as Tagesspiegel and Hobo, and also in Berlinale. He later made two autobiographical films: Made in Germany and USA and Tagebuch. In 1977 he founded his own production company, Moana-film. And in 1993 its own distributor, Prometheus. Between 1977 and 1979, he directed Beschreibung einer Insel (Description of an Island) on the Hebrides Islands. His films in the 1980’s tackled more traditional fictional questions: Berlin Chamissoplatz, System ohne schatten and Tarot. At the end of the decade, he won the International Critics Award at the Montreal Film Festival for Der Philosoph. With the turn of the century, he maintained his frenetic pace behind the camera and made a dozen films.


Detektive (1968)
Rote Sonne (1970)
Supergirl (1971)
Made in Germany and USA (1974)
Berlin Chamissoplatz (1980)
System ohne Schatten (1983)
Tarot (1986)
Der Philosoph (1989)
Liebe auf den ersten Blick (1991)
Tigerstreifenbaby wartet auf Tarzan (1998)
Paradiso - Sieben Tage mit sieben Frauen (2000)
Rot und Blau (2003)
Frau fährt, Mann schläft (2004)
Du hast gesagt, dass du mich liebst (2006)
Rauchzeichen (2006)
Das Sichtbare und das Unsichtbare (2007)
Pink (2009)
Das rote Zimmer (2010)
Ins Blue (2012)


+49. 30. 69 50 90 71

Promoted by
Gobierno de Navarra
Organized by
With the aid of
Con la financiación del Gobierno de España. Instituto de la Cinematografía y las Artes AudiovisualesAcción Cultural EspañolaPlan de Recuperación, Transformación y ResilienciaFinanciado por la Unión Europea. NexGenerationEU
With the support of
Ayuntamiento de PamplonaCentro de Arte Contemporáneo de HuarteFundación Caja NavarraGoethe InstitutCanadá InternationalCasa ÁrabeCineteca MadridAsociación de Mujeres Cineastas y de Medios AudiovisualesInstitut FrançaisEmbajada de Portugal en MadridCamões - Instituto da Cooperação e da Língua Portugal
Member of
PantallaIberofestLa MestaThe Red Balloon
Filmoteca de Navarra
Museo Oteiza
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola
Festival de Cine Africano FCAT
Festival Scope
Centre Cinématographique Marocain
Hotel Tres Reyes
Hotel Maisonave
Cineteca Bologna
The Film Foundation
World Cinema Project
Cinemateca Portuguesa
Radio 3
Filmoteca Española
Festivals in Navarre
Punto de Vista
NIFF - Navarra International Film Festival
Navarra, tierra de cine
Ópera Prima
CTL 59
#LabMeCrazy! Science Film Festival
Festival de Cine y Dentistas
Horror Online Art
FICBE (Festival Internacional de Cortos de Berriozar)
FAN, Festival de Anime de Navarra
Lo que viene
Muestra de cine español
Filmmaking for social change
Muestra Internacional de Cine y Mujeres de Pamplona

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