South Pacific . A tragic story with postmodern social implication, ahead of its times. The songs are the story. We all long for a Bali Hai. The geographic view is of Hawaii. IMDb identifies Kaua'i, Hawaii, USA as the spot, unless in the studio. They di try to look real and they are in the Pacific.
The deeper theme of South Pacific is one of racial mixing. Lt. Cable has adjustment troubles facing the fact that he loves Liat, who is Tonkinese. In the out of the world joy of BaliHai, he loses track of his background and falls for her. Faced with the reality of his social world, he cannot bring himself at first to marry her. So to Nellie has troubles facing the fact that Emile married a Polynesian woman and had two children. Her social bak ground faces adjusting to this fact. Cable sings “You’ve Got to be Carefully Taught” to reveal his findings of this conflict in himself, and Nellie. Our view of others is “carefully taught” to us by our society. It is not born in us.
South Pacific islands have had this place in American culture of being where the outside world is put aside. One might see the British sailors react and change in any version of Mutiny on the Bounty to see this.
The physical world is the standard one of Warmth with broad open views of the ocean. Volcanic peaks dominate the sky. The distance this world is from the larger world of America is pronounced. The islands are a refuge from the industrial age, though damaged by it as Gauguin clearly saw in his art from here.A beautiful picture of it all.