Filming in Nabua, site of a bloody 1965 battle between communist farmers and the totalitarian government, Apichatpong employs a roving, floating camera and incantatory, omniscient narration to simultaneously evoke the dangerous cycles of violence and repression.
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Perfect to watch after the feature Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives. Peter Greenaway has been a critic of cinema that is a mere ilustration of novels and plays. With Apichatpong, we do feel there is something truly other than just filming a narrative. There is a specific language. An intriguing one. Made with moving images, with words, sounds. With human emotion, landscape. This is cinema. At its best.
with minimal means & a meditative style this highly poetic short film reveals the project at the heart of Weerasethakul's films - such as Mysterious Object at Noon & Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, etc - is the impulse to commemorate the stories of the living & the dead from his community - every frame of this powerful film is infused with that inherently human, tragic, political endeavour - very moving
The "Peeking Around Corners" article helped me a lot.
I think this a ghost film. Nabua's past is palpable, melding with the present in every visual and aural detail: the pictures on the walls, the rotating fan, windows, nature. The physical spaces, which feel incredibly real, are laden with memories and ghosts. Like Uncle Boonmee, they return with each reincarnation, and are inseparable with the place.
While I watched this I had the windows open in the house, and at times I could feel the wind swirling around my bare feet. Or maybe it was just the film. Weerasethakul's films feel like they should be watched outdoors, maybe in a park at night like in *Phantoms of Nabua*. Just beautiful.