Tabu review

Miguel Gomes' festival hit is baffling but enchanting

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Portuguese director Miguel Gomes’ tales-within-tales curio is baffling – but it’s also an enchanting love letter to cinema’s bygone magic.

From present-day Lisbon, where Aurora (Laura Soveral) is slipping into senility, we go back to her colonial African past, where as a young wife she had an illicit affair.

It’s not until this second part, narrated without dialogue and in luminous 16mm (like a silent-era classic) that we become fully swept up in the lovers’ passions.

But this blend of tongue-in-cheek exoticism and desire so strong it makes crocodiles melancholic amply rewards your patience.

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