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The Island Funeral

Mahasamut Lae Susaan

Thailand | 2015 | 105 minutes | Pimpaka Towira

Three Thai youth leave Bangkok to visit a long-lost aunt and end up on a mesmerizing, terrifying, and subversively genre-bending journey through the heavily militarized countryside that ends with the discovery of an unexpected new society.

May 22, 2016
SIFF Cinema Uptown Festival  
8:30 PM Date has passed
May 27, 2016
SIFF Film Center Festival  
9:00 PM Date has passed
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Experimental documentary filmmaker Pimpaka Towira (The Truth Be Told: The Case Against Supinya Klangnarong) has made a career detailing the multifaceted political struggles of Thailand. Now with her second narrative feature (her first in 12 years), she transforms the current governmental upheaval and religious strife into a thoughtful allegory seen through the eyes of three Thai youth. Young Muslim siblings Laila (Heen Sasithorn) and Zugood (Aukrit Pornsumpunsuk), along with an unnamed friend (Yossawat Sittiwong), set out from Bangkok on a road trip to Pattani, one of the three southernmost Thai provinces, to visit their long-lost aunt. Addicted to modern technology and unaccustomed to rural life, they soon get lost in the heavily militarized countryside, and what started as an easygoing journey becomes punctuated by anxiety and fear: Laila starts seeing ciphers along the side of the road; they meet a suspicious soldier hell-bent on eliminating the insurgency; their friend's anti-Muslim bias threatens the precarious balance of the trio. As The Island Funeral glides toward its hypnotic finale, Towira (along with co-writer and film critic Kong Rithdee) proffers a better world, a utopian ideal of diversity and harmony.

Director Biography
Though The Island Funeral is only her second feature-length film, Pimpaka Towira has already been recognized as one of Thailand's most acclaimed female directors for her first film, One Night Husband. Last year, she earned the Asian Future Film Award at the Tokyo International Film Festival for The Island Funeral.

Sponsored by KING 5

Director: Pimpaka Towira
Principal Cast: Heen Sasithorn, Aukrit Pornsumpunsuk, Yossawat Sittiwong, Pattanapong Sriboonrueang
Premier Status: North American Premiere
Country: Thailand
Year: 2015
Running Time: 105 minutes
Producer: Pimpaka Towira, Chatchai Chaiyon
Screenplay: Kong Rithdee, Pimpaka Towira
Cinematographers: Phuttiphong Aroonpheng
Editors: Harin Paesongthai, Benjarat Choonuan, Uruphong Raksasad
Music: Inspirative, Noppanan Panicharoen
Website: Official Film Website
Awards: Tokyo International Film Festival 2015 (Asian Future Award), Hong Kong International Film Festival 2016 (FIPRESCI Award)
Filmography: The Truth Be Told: The Cases Against Supinya Klangnarong (doc, 2007); One Night Husband (2003)
Language: Thai
Format: DCP
International Sales: Mosquito Films Distribution
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