Today, Bali is the tropical luxury capital of the world, home of Conde Nast Traveler’s highest-rated resorts and tourist-oriented rituals that preserve the island’s brand of Hinduism in a sort of open-air anthropology museum. In the early 20th century, however, Westerners saw Bali as exoticism made flesh, complete with bare-breasted maidens. Anthropologists such as Margaret Mead thought they had found in the South Pacific an entirely different standard of sexual morality, which is the sort of discovery that attracts the attention of nonacademics. Andre Roosevelt’s 1932 Goona-Goona: An Authentic Melodrama of the Isle of Bali sports a semiapologetic subtitle that indicates just how unauthentic it is. Like such contemporaneous films as Murnau’s Tabu, Goona-Goona combines documentary and fiction in a way that would then have been daringly erotic. The film will be shown with excerpts from footage Mead herself shot in Bali at 7 p.m. at the Library of Congress’ Pickford Theater, 101 Independence Ave. SE. Free. (202) 707-5677. (MJ)

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