Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti

French filmmaker Edouard Deluc captures a controversial period in the life of French painter Paul Gauguin with this sedate biopic, based on a travelogue of Gauguin’s that many critics believe to be partly fictitious. In 1891 the artist (Vincent Cassel) leaves his wife and five children in Paris, decamps to Tahiti, and meets a 13-year-old Polynesian girl (Tuhei Adams) who becomes his muse and second wife. Adams, who was 17 during filming, imparts little of the teenager’s interior life, and the script positions her from Gauguin’s perspective, as an exotic lover and subject. Deluc and his three cowriters acknowledge the postcolonial thorniness of the situation, yet they fail to explore it, tossing in a fictional love triangle in the seeming hope that Cassel’s fervent performance will render Gauguin a fascinating antihero. In French and Tahitian with subtitles.