Stories from the north

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Thailand / 88 mins / World Premiere -Jeonju International Film Festival

Directed by Uruphong Raksasad / Extra Virgin

Awards

Winner JJ*Star Award for Digital Film, Jeonju International Film Festival 2006
Most Promising Filmmaker Award, Spokane International Film Festival 2007
2nd Public Award, Lyon Asian Film Festival 2006
Public Award, Nantes 3 continent Film Festival 2006
Jury Special Mention, Taiwan International Film Festival 2006,

Synopsis

8 moving vignettes reveal vivid contrasts of 21st-century life among farmers/herders in Thailand’s northern mountains. Profound continuities of age-old traditions are countered by scattered but crucial technological benefits — telephones, tin roofs, the car leading a Buddhist procession through rice fields, the rifle an old man uses to scare intruders. Cattlerustlers on motorcycles interrupt agricultural methods thousands of years old, but the loneliness of the elderly is punctuated by phone call with city relatives. They share dependence upon nature, each other (and pets), but their temperaments vary: from the lone farmer pondering the sky with his dog, to a merry group of bicycling musicians visiting a temple.
The vignettes, accompanied by the sounds of rain, threshing, and local musicians, are intercut with visually poetic takes focusing on timeless satisfactions: clouds, mountains, waving grain, the full moon under which children tell ghost stories inspired by the mysteries of birth and unexpected death.

Director’s Biography

Born in 1977 to a farming family in the district of Terng – 60 kilometres from Chiang Rai, northern part of Thailand, Uruphong Raksasad came to Bangkok for the first time when he was 18 to further his study at Thammasat University’s Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communications, where he majored in film and photography. After graduation in 2000, he had worked as a film editor and post-production supervisor for several Thai feature films. Since 2004, he left quietly from the industry and has tried to achieve his grassroots filmmaking through the story from his home village.