The Island Funeral

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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.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

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SIFF Cinema Uptown

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Friday, May 27, 2016

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SIFF Film Center

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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

  • Original Language Title: Mahasamut Lae Susaan
  • Director: Pimpaka Towira
  • Principal Cast: Heen Sasithorn, Aukrit Pornsumpunsuk, Yossawat Sittiwong, Pattanapong Sriboonrueang
  • Premiere 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