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    Legends Of The South Pacific

    FLIXU Movies

    by FLIXU Movies

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    Mitchener’s book “Tales of the South Pacific” was an inspiration for the film, and the interest in Vanuatu and the Solomon’s today. Ben travels through the scattered and remote islands of Vanuatu and the Solomon’s, in search of Mitchener’s tales and other legends. On Pentacost Island, the age old ritual still continues of warrior men building makeship bamboo platform towers up to 27 metres high, then leaping from them with two springy vines round their ankles to break their fall. This land diving ritual is said to guarantee an abundant yam crop in the next season. At the islands’ of Tanna and Epi, friendly dugong come in close to shore and swim with the snorkelers, the only wild dugong in the world that intentionally makes friendly contact with humans. With many active volcanoes and hot springs and fumaroles, the natives cook their food in this hot water , and a strange megapode bird lays its eggs in the hot sand. While Tanna Island is famous for its active volcano, it also has a strange sect that worships a man called Jon Frum. It’s a form of Cargo Cult that began after the war. Its supporters have built an airfield in the jungle and constructed wooden replica aircraft to entice more of Jon Frums’ planes full of cargo to land on Tanna. On Aneityum Island there are petroglyph rock engravings representing the sun, stars, people, birds and fish. Islanders claim these are the work of an earlier people. There is a tribe called the Big Nambas, and another called Small Nambas, and it's all to do with the size of their penis sheath, which is all the men wear . It’s a two day hike in to their remote village. Santo Island is where Mitchener was based in the war , and his experiences there became the film “South Pacific” and the book “Tales of the South Pacific”. More than half a million Americans were briefly stationed here before sailing off to battle elsewhere in the Pacific. When the war ended, Santo was turned into a huge junkyard of surplus war material. Ben dives at Million Dollar Point where endless supplies of new equipment were dumped into the sea. Nearby is the huge wreck of the President Coolidge, a 200 metre long luxury liner that was turned into a troop ship. Carrying 5000 marines, she hit two American mines and sank so close to shore, all but two men leaped to safety. Down below the old hospital site is an iron cottage under a huge tree on the beach front. This was Bloody Mary’s brothel. Local legend has it that convalescing soldiers would walk from the hospital to the brothel where they’d test their fitness before returning to the battle front. The numerous islands of Vanuatu are alive with legends.