Legong: Dance of the Virgins
Filmed entirely on location in Bali in 1935 by the Marquis Henry de la Falaise, the ex-husband of movie star Gloria Swanson and the current spouse of screen siren Constance Bennett. The film is a tragic tale of love denied. Poutou, a respected Legong dancer, falls in love with young musician, Nyoung. Her father is delighted with Poutou's choice and wants to help her to conquer Nyoung's heart. But Poutou's half-sister Saplak pines for the musician. LEGONG's real theme is much more than mere melodrama, it is the delineation of Balinese culture. De la Falaise captured religious rituals including frenetic dances and mystical parades, everyday dealings at the local marketplace, a cockfight (which was cut out of the British version) and, in the final scene, a mass cremation. Small details chronicling the life of the villagers make LEGONG an absorbing and mesmerizing quasi-documentary in gorgeous Two-Color Technicolor!