Out now on demand, Out now on dvd/blu-ray

The Orator, Movie

The Orator (O Le Tulafale) 2011

Your Rating/Review

Drama set and shot in Samoa, the first Samoan feature film and the debut from writer/director Tusi Tamasese. Winner of three awards at the 68th Venice Film Festival and eight awards at the New Zealand Film Awards 2012. More

"Small in stature and humble, Saili lives a simple life with his beloved wife and daughter in an isolated, traditional village... Forced to protect his land and family, Saili must face his fears and seek the right to speak up for those he loves." (Venice Film Festival) Hide

Starring: Faafiaula Sagote, Tausili Pushparaj, Salamasina Silivelia Mataia

Directed by Tusi Tamasese (feature debut)

Written by Tusi Tamasese

Produced by Catherine Fitzgerald ('Rain of the Children', 'Two Cars One Night')

Cinematographed by Leon Narby ('Dean Spanley', 'No 2', 'Whale Rider')

Festivals & Awards Winner of Special Mention, Art Cinema and CinemAvvenire Best Film at the Venice International Film Festival 2011. Winner of eight awards including Best Film, Director (Tusi Tamasese), Actor (Fa'afiaula Sagote), Actress (Tausili Pushparaj) and Screenplay at the NZ Film Awards 2012.

Drama | 1hr 50mins | M | contains violence & offensive language | Country of Origin: Samoa | Language: Samoan with English subtitles | Official Site

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549 votes / 166 comments The Talk

  • 81 %

    Want to See it

    What say you?

    • FSPT

      I can't wait to see The Orator!

    • Jared

      This film looks so stunning and inspirational.

    • Emma8

      ooooooooohhhhhh myy goshhhh i cant believe its nearly out cheeeehooooo!!

    • nella

      this movie was filmed in my villagee!! yeh yoh loud and proud!

    • Jake

      Powerful trailer. Can't wait for this movie to come out!!

    • Talllis

      Now this is real fa'asamoa none of that BS Sione's Wedding crap!!

    • Mae

      Looks stunning.

    • Rich03

      Looking forward to seeing this movie!..Good story line! Malo lava le galue malosi..always good to see movies filmed back in our homeland!..

    • Pele

      so looking forward for this movie to release in the Main stream (like Sione's Wedding) in America.

    • MLT

      Can't wait to see my dear Salamasina (Litia) in action... yaaay!100% Samoan!

    • Emma8

      i cant wait for it to come out in Australiaa!! if it kums out. this is a hektik faa samoan movie for a start

    • Stella

      sekia le aka lea!

    • lasike

      wish it was coming out sooner than later I WANA WATCH IT NOW MAN!

    • Jake

      naaa i'll give it a pass

    • Matt

      looks good, big ups tausili, can't wait to see your performance

    • Losa

      Amazing movie, the trailer brought this movie to my attention and I can't wait to see it!

    • BIG MO

      Its about time. I told everyone that we can also do this.... Nice stuff and now we all pacific islander need to go watch and support.

    • Jay

      That got me teary eyed, thinking of our parents and their upringing in Samoa, Love it and cnt wait to see it!

    • Tee

      OMFG! Mate! Can't wait to watch this movie! Love it.x

    • Charles Eggen

      Flying Fox in a Freedom Tree was the first Samoan feature - 1990. Sorry.

    • Grace

      can't wait to see it

    • Fan

      Awesome stuff!! Def going to watch this!!!

    • anonymous

      cant wait too watch this!! the preview looks awsome..PROUD TO BE SAMOAN all day every day CHOOHOO

    • Masina


    • <3

      cant wait too watch this!! the preview looks awsome..PROUD TO BE SAMOAN all day every day CHOOHOO


      Good to see more Samoan movies being created.Can't wait to see this movie.SAMOA HARD.....

    • N8v 2 NZ

      I dont really watch foreign movies but this 1 has got my attention. Looks like a powerful movie . . . a heartfelt 1.

    • Big D

      Im not even Samoan and usually dont watch island stuff. But for some reason, this movie looks emotionaly sad but great,


      Look forward to this, definitely one for the brother and sisters to watch!!

    • laddyy206

      We want to watch it in Seattle..USA any cahnce of that?

    • 907Mulipipi

      Hope this is good,Love the storyline.

    • X-Girl

      @Charles..Actually it was Sons for the return home was the 1st Samoan feature.Must tke mum n dad to see dis. proud kiwi/samoan..choo hoo!

    • Punialava'a72

      Awesome trailor, great storyline and familiar faces..looking forward to watching the real aganuu on the big screen..thanks.

    • Laoso

      Trailer looks good. Cant wait to watch it some really gr8 actors on it.Samoa defintly put us on da map...


      Humbled and Proud to see this come to the big screen!

    • X-Girl

      At what village was this filmed at?? Beautiful scenery

    • Hmm

      Looks good!!! Beautiful and Natural Talent coming out from our own lil Island!... xx

    • Phineas Hartson

      Fantastic cant wait to see it.

    • Lynx

      There is definitely a buzz about this movie in NZ especially in Napier NZ..So malo lava le taumafai malo tauivi tamasese its gonna be meean

    • PMi

      I think when they say Samoan feature they mean that the movie is all in Samoan, is set in Samoa, and the cast is all samoan...

    • PMi

      written and directed by a Samoan and filmed from the perspective of a Samoan...

    • Faye

      We watched the first preview lastnight . Awesome movie man , soo wana watch it again . CHEEEE HOOOO ! SEKIAAAAAA le act a Saili . lmaao

    • @ X-Girl

      it was filmed in Upolu the village Vailele Satapuala Manunu and 2 other villages but iforgot . lol

    • Saleichicken

      Beautiful movie so teary and funny @ da same time. MUST SEE MOVIE

    • X-Girl

      Thanks for that bud!! dat be my next trip to da village of Vailele Satapuala..lol

    • Nomz

      Awaiting impatiently to watch this :) this is what happens when you move to Australia lol Bless you all :) x

    • Coconut

      O.m.g I cant wait to see this movie..its so intense.

    • Latu

      saw this last night..its honestly a must see movie!!especially for us NZ bred kids ;)

    • Charlene

      It's Awesome to see more of our culture on the big screens. Can't wait to see it!

    • Jaja

      Looks like an awesome movie to see, cant wait..

    • EyeGuy

      cant wait to get it on bootlegg haahaha choohoo

    • seenIT

      Man this is a gotta see!!! Seen in and love it.....Very very Samoan!!!

    • Reiz

      K for cant wait to see it..looks like a few teary moments too :)

    • JEM

      More talent from our polynesian peeps on showcase - so excited to see this!

    • Mapse

      The three D's! Dackle this movie sole

    • Frangipani

      ..." Strongest voice comes from the heart"....sounds deep & meaningful..Im definitely in to have a look at this one!

    • reetz

      For sure will c this....

    • willie

      have been waiting to c this for quite some time now cant wait

    • Savaii boys

      the old man will be keen for this one on the big srceen

    • Leitu

      Can't wait to see this film! Our stories continue to be told! Awesome!

    • Whitney

      Can't wait to see it.looks great.

    • Tai

      really wanna see this - gonna make it a gals nite out

    • Sala

      I want to see this movie so bad, it comes from the heart. This is a mean story line. and people can see how samoan life can be.

    • authentic

      saw it last night...authentic ! will c it again soon

    • jay

      can't wait to see it, looks great!

    • Nua

      I feel this movie should be nominated for an academy award :) awesome movie

    • jen

      looking forward to see it with my parents :)

    • Apisaloma

      Can not wait!! :) its a success already!

    • tina

      well can't wait to see it with my honey and kids...

    • jhon

      cant believe its in samoan language omg

    • lenix

      Dads birthday finisher for the day wooohoo cant wair

    • Sia

      will see it tonight...exciting!!!

    • margaret

      shottayeeesss cat wait to see this movie. SAMOA ALDAE

    • Nafanua

      Holidays coming up! Looking foward to watching it at the movies (: Heard heaps of good things!!!

    • Liah

      Cant wait to see it tonight :)

    • Deeyana

      Can't wait to see this, Great work coming from Samoa awesome talent God Bless our Island

    • das

      Can't wait to watch it!!!

    • Angel

      Went to see this movie at the Premiere. Emotional movie. O for Awesome movie. Fantastic! More of this please NZ :o)

    • Good stuff!

      Saw it last night... beautifully shot and very stunning story

    • Derek Spicer

      Why are you not showing this movie in Hamilton, there is life south of the Bombays you know.

    • Amanda

      Amazing movie!!! So impressed with the acting and story. A must see if you are Samoan, have ever been to Samoa, or know any Samoans!!

    • AMAZED

      Took mum and the family to watch it lastnight! AMAZING! Good storyline that captures the eye and heart! well done

    • Mr G

      I will go see it, says I.

    • Misi Popoalii

      This film looks great, i hope all of our people will support an inspirational movie from our culture... God bless Samoa...

    • V.A.R

      Can't wait to c it..2 bad it's not on the movies here...looks gr8. awesome job to Mr. Tamasese n the whole cast n crew.

    • Tofaeono

      Any chance for Aussie pls..Love to watch it.....

    • Annie Fuamoli

      Would dearly love to see it here in Brisbane!!

    • Tanaiofaloa

      when can we get this movie in the USA? very excited to see this movie.......God Bless

    • Skvii

      when does it come to Oz??...

    • sam

      wat a great movie....... i wana watch t again lol.

    • vice

      so wanna watch it!

    • Laze Charlez

      CANT WAIT 2 WATCH SAMOA ON THE BIG SCREEN! big ups 2 Tusi Tamasese for the Movie & all the cast & crew! - GOD BLESS SAMOA

    • Jane

      Just as the Dominion Post said today 101011 'go find a cinema near you and watch it!!!!

    • Ran

      Just saw this with my bro and dad and its mean. Take your parents they will love you for it. Thanks Tusi for bringing Samoa to us. Manuia.

    • lomy

      looks so touching. looks so sad. must watch it!!!!!

    • SinCity

      I hope this movie reaches the US, can't wait to see it!

    • Pepagurl

      Wow! It should be made into a book/e-book/dvd and planted on literature/culture must read/see lists in schools...lots of life lessons.

    • D.Toa

      Must see movie! Absolutely Memorable. Saw it last night, definately a 5 star rating.

    • Richard Feso Su

      Average, matariki was better... good attempt

    • Lise

      The Orator :) LOVE this movie. I believe this movie is reuniting our Samoan community.

    • Mua

      will watch it in the big screen in Dunedin tomorrow night , i must be the last samoan in Dunedin to watch it lol

    • Benny

      I'm hoping it'll get to the US one day!

    • PROUD


    • grace

      beautiful movie, a work of art

    • Leilani

      i really would like to see this movie here in hawaii : ) ! just by watching the trailer it looks like a great movie

    • Loved the orator

      Such a good movie, took my grandparents with me to watch and they both felt proud that ur culture was being big screened.

    • Brown and Proud

      Must of been good, my boyfriend and I are going to watch again..hopefully this time I won't cry.

    • Nike

      Walked out of the movie still crying and ended up walking around manis with puffy eyes... Just shows how good it was.

    • Eli

      Sounds intriguing... I'll take my mother to see this, she ought to appreciate it. :)



    • SARA ILI

      this movie looks Great!! Cant wait to see it

    • Linda


    • Mahana

      I love this movie...and i have only seen the trailor...Can't wait to see the whole movie :D

    • Carole

      is this movie in samoan with english subtitles?


      My hubby and son went to watch it, i want to go now got so jealous when they said how great it was to see such a great movie from SAMOA

    • Penani Faalavaau

      Thank you brother Tusi for this wonderful film. This story has great depth to it. keep it up. God bless

    • Josh Thomson

      Rad. Where did the 3 D's story come from? A guy at Uni told me the same story about his Samoan rugby coach. Same team?

    • Jade

      Absolutely beautiful story. Hope it comes out on DVD. Going to go and watch again. Proud of Samoa!

    • Sio Tutagalevao

      Proud to be a Samoan. Awesome acting. Beautifully pure Samoa.

    • RandomGirl

      This movie should be in NZ's top 5 not the Smurfs

    • Maoris' Suk!

      Excellent film; better than Boy and Whale rider! Tusi is a far better Director than that overrated Clown Taika Waititi. Should win an Oscar!

    • benxcve staub

      the worst moovie i have ever seen in my entire life moooooo

    • Ange

      Awesome movie watched it 3 x lol

    • Kiki Rodriguez

      Bring it to the US!! Alot of people in Utah want to see this movie!

    • X-Girl

      @Carole yes its all in samoan with english subtitles...

    • LEENEE A

      The 3 D's Is so FUNNY Love to see it again, Good on ya Samoa youve made us Proud

    • rasmus

      Disappointing film! Wrong title! The little dwarfie says stuff-all until the end of the film! Oscar judges' may eliminate it cos of this!

    • SamoanBaby !

      OMG ! I have GOT to see this movie ^_^ im samoan myself and have to defs watch it lol , MadMad to all those who love it (:

    • Mattie Setu

      Oh gooooolly gosh ! , i HAVE to see this :( iv beeen craving to see this movie , nek minnit dosent even come out where i live,lol samoa bby!

    • VaiscaSapati

      heheh shottz Mattie ouy gaybo heheh LOL we are all from Samoa and even though i havent seen it i would love to c it One_Love

    • Stasia

      Mean as movie, loved every bit of it ! heaps and heaps of funny aswell lol

    • Sophie

      So wanna see this!!

    • Meloma

      Hi <3

    • Mat


    • sai

      bring it to usa

    • alofa

      california too please.

    • janice

      can you play it in new plymouth please

    • D Perese

      Awesome movie. Took my 70 year old dad to see it and he loved it. For a moment he was back in Samoa walking around Upolo

    • # ' RAMATOSA '

      ; omqee onesst to whu i took myy nanaa out to the movies for the first time and onestly she likedd it , even thouqqh we aree kukiee/maori :D

    • Roxanne

      Live in the USA.. would love to see it. How can we see it? Need to know. my family really wants to see it.

    • Tanya

      one word "AMAZING" Such a great movie !

    • Lisara P

      Amazing Movie, really shows how samoan people are like, Shows how our Culture really is.

    • Tupua Wilson

      Taking the Parents to see it..!! Comes out Dec 1 in one cinema only here in ACT Ozzie!!!

    • Samoan

      Bring it to Utah please.

    • Samoan Lady

      Bring it to the East coast, please!! South Carolina. Missing the homeland

    • mainland uso....

      where kan i buy a kopy..samoa mo samoa

    • anna

      i need to see it rite nao..

    • Tina Moimoi

      Good movie to see. Loved it.

    • Estaza

      Would Love to see it xx

    • Ben

      Hope they can get it to anchorage, Alaska, Pls

    • Pisupo..lol.

      hurry california needs this movie...we have more samoans out here in LA than anywhere else. so plzz we all wanna watch this.(=

    • Fa'alifu kalo

      hey we out here in L.A. needs to see this..why not play it on theaters in America?..would be awesome ...

    • Teine

      yeah, i wanna see it too in the US theatre. It's a great learning tool for the US born Samoan kids of their culture and humbling beginning.

    • Zina

      awesome movie!~ **SPOILER ALERT** pretty sad how it took his wifes death to man up.. but the main thing is that he bought his wife back home.. =)

    • upuia

      love this movie ! it's life learning ;) ilove it !<33

    • Love it

      This is in reality true about Samoa...title and land is very important...I miss my homeland....wonderful movie

    • roach79

      where can i buy this movie..i really wanna see it thanks

    • Manunu Princess

      Loved it so much.... I want to see more movies like this from Samoa pleeeease.

    • islandMana

      I totally love this movie!! It shows our culture so wel i am so proud to b a Samoan!! Need MOre MOvies Like this!

    • Cindy Faitala

      I really want to order this movie. It looks really nice. The problem is I live in Anchorage, Alaska and I cannot order any movie from there.

    • Coconut willy

      When will this movie be available it the US?

    • Julie

      When will it be in Seattle WA USA - can't wait to see it - It sounds awesome.


      li live in saipan which is a territory of the US andIM also married with a Non Samoan wife. this movie is a classic for my children .

    • masina leuta

      make it available soon Tusi and let the whole world know what our culture is like.


      This is a really good movie and it gives us a message. Dont judge little people like Saili and dont even luk down to them. God Made us equal

    • AuroIana

      I got this movie at home I always watch dat,,,,,, and I miss my family at Samoa,,,,,,,,that the real life........ Really nice movie ....


    Want to see it?


Flicks.co.nz Review



  • bernard

    good thing

  • Laze Charlez

    Agreed - Chuuhooo

  • Craig Ranapia

    What the 'Orator' lacks in "flash" it more than makes up for in heart, soul and earned sentiment.

  • LITIAhahajks

    litia is my friend eshaayas

  • grace

    love you saili go uncle!!!!!!

  • dlhaist@inspire.net.nz


comment / reply
Andreas Heinemann Flicks Writer

Polynesia finally gets its moment in the sun with this family drama set in an isolated Samoan village. The Orator provides a cinematic window into contemporary life on the island as well as an overview of more traditional aspects of Samoan culture. More

The film is a co-production with New Zealand and some of our most highly respected technicians make strong contributions. Cinematographer Leon Narbey and sound designer Tim Prebble combine to create a setting rich with lush, natural colour and atmospheric touches on the soundtrack. The result is an authentic world with a mythical quality that seems in tune with the palpable emotional content of the story. This is a movie that is more concerned with the importance of the characters’ intimate moments than it is with a fast-moving plot.

Populating the cast is a predominantly untrained collection of locals. Their low key performances fit the mood and universal themes of the film, while a few moments of well-executed comic relief are on hand when things need livening up. Rookie writer/director Tusi Tamasese juggles these technical elements well but it’s the obvious empathy for his characters that is the most pleasing hallmark of his feature length debut.

The Orator won’t be for everyone, as it unfolds at a pace some may find catatonically slow and lacks any eye-catching flash. However, it’s an undoubtedly sincere statement about a unique corner of the world. Hide

The People's Reviews


6 ratings and 7 reviews


comment / reply


Ponyboy A-Lister (?)

I love seeing different cultures on screen and this was the first Samoan focused film I have ever watched. in that respect it was fascinating but the plot did not draw me in to another world.


comment / reply

Culturally eye-opening; but not engaging enough for an Oscar win.

MiddEstNZ Nobody (?)

I get the impression though that the director & NZ Film Commission assumed that as long as this was exotic in location/people, had exceptional presentation via good cinematography/musical score, that it would win an Oscar. Where they missed out was in the lack of dialogue & engagement of plot/film characters' to viewers'/Film Judges'. Hence 'A Separation' (Iran) taking the 2012 Foreign language film Oscar and beating 'The orator' @ the 2011 Asia Pacific Screen Award - for the best film. Lessons' to be learned for next time - maybe?


comment / reply

Deaf Samoan can relate... and ON POINT!

DEAFsamoan Nobody (?)

Born in Samoa and relocate in US, one would think, just another Samoan films full of songs and dance and a whole lotta babble, find it that it was in Closed Captions and English, caught between 2 worlds. Being Deaf and Samoan, we can all relate to Saili (main character). It's a great film, beautifully made and I would love for Tusi to cast one from a Deaf point of view, believe me, people are not so kind :( again, the movie in itself will be epic. One of a kind and please make more of the dark stories untold. With Love, Deaf Samoan


comment / reply

Heart Breaking and Heart Warming

JacksonKLaidlaw Nobody (?)

I was moved by this film (honestly). It doesn't have any huge hollywood actors or flash cars/ guns/ explosions, but it provides a window into the unique Samoan culture and captures an audience prepared to take a moment to explore their culture and holds the viewer's attention desperately waiting to find out what is going to happen. The performance in the final scenes of the film are exceptional in my opinion. A heart breaking and heart warming film, exploring the Samoan culture and heirachy within village life.


comment / reply

Island Timed Knockout

unqualifiedbuff Nobody (?)

This was sensational and truly inspirational. The Orator moves at no means a fast pace, but it is much in tune with the villagers tones of life, allowing you to feel truly immersed in Samoan culture. It is also the story of outcasts and underdogs, forced to face larger than life issues and over-come fears in order to do right. It's a film where some may walk away feeling down, but if you truly look into the film for what it's worth, you'll walk away feeling a million bucks, just like Fa'afiaula Sagote would have felt like in the film. Truly worth a watch and real insight into a different way of life. A great film on many levels.


comment / reply

Heart breaking & heart warming!

Coraliee Flicks Superstar (?)

I went to see this on opening night last week. Unfortunately there were only a handful of people in the cinema, and it definately deserves a much bigger audience! A heart breaking and heart warming film, exploring the Samoan culture and heirachy within village life. I was taken by surprise, as I did not expect outstanding performances by the all of the cast. My only warning - take some tissues!


  • Red

    Don't review it if you aint seen it there mate. Pointless.

  • Tim



    you havn't seen it and rating it 5 starts? idiot.

comment / reply
The Orator

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Press Reviews


Tusi Tamasese’s feature debut is a knockout, a real treat for the eye, the ear and the heart. Full review.

Sunday Star Times (New Zealand)

Many will be touched and affected, while others may find it a little too languid. Full review.

Variety (USA)

A compelling drama with more to offer than just anthropological interest. Full review.