Previously at the ICA - Films

Still: Wonderful Town

Wonderful Town

23 Oct 2008

Takua Pa is one of the many small towns in southern Thailand devastated by the Boxing Day tsunami in 2004; some 8000 people died. Ton, an architect from Bangkok, is sent there to supervise rebuilding near the beach, but finds himself with next to nothing to do. He lodges in a near-empty hotel a little way inland and drifts into a furtive affair with its Chinese-Thai manageress Na, who slowly responds to his laid-back masculinity. But the generally conservative locals, including Na's delinquent kid brother Wit, have been numbed emotionally since the disaster, and Ton's transgressive affair provides them for the first time with a potential scapegoat for their losses... Aditya Assarat, who already has two excellent shorts and a co-directed documentary to his credit, has made an exceptional debut feature. It starts as a mood piece, almost a tone poem, and gradually modulates into something much more hardedged: not quite a thriller, but a tough-minded meditation on the need for closure after natural calamities. Of all the many responses to the tsunami, this is probably the most mature and certainly one of the most moving.

LFF programme text by Tony Rayns.

A Soda Pictures film.

Dir-Scr Aditya Assarat, with Supphasit Kansen, Anchalee Saisoontorn and Dul Yaambunying, Thailand 2007, 92 mins

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