Cast: Apinya Sakuljaroensuk, Sornrapat Patharakorn, Waywiree Ittianunkul
Official Selection, 2021 Berlin International Film Festival
A group of young artists explore a grisly monument to their nation’s past in Anocha Suwichakornpong’s (Mundane History, By the Time it Gets Dark) latest elliptical meditation on Thai identity.
Traversing the overgrown tracks of the “Death Railway,” constructed during WWII by prisoners of war, the group converses, only obliquely gesturing towards the grim historical record. Their languid, youthful ambling embodies a kind of confused and deceptively casual relationship with the events that precede them. Meanwhile, another young woman has an encounter in the same forested area, which leads to otherworldly transformation. The parallel sets of action offer no straightforward interpretation for their connection, but mirror an anxiety produced by the chasm between living history and its uneasy inhabitants.
Rewarding the patient and the curious, Suwichakornpong’s open-ended method of inquiry into collective trauma and transgenerational mythmaking dovetails seamlessly alongside thematically similar efforts by her peers, including Apichatpong Weerasethakul.
Filmic documentation on the set of Anocha Suwichakornpong’s Come Here twists to fiction, through the story of a production manager tasked with the superstitious role of the lemongrass girl, a virgin who can ward off rain.
Monday, November 1, 2021