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» It is high time for audiences who appreciate the rough-edged reality of documentary films. Of the five nominees of the Oscar for best documentary feature, three had a regular release in Bangkok cinemas (Amy, Cartel Land, The Look of Silence), something unthinkable a few years ago when no distributor wanted to risk showing non-fiction films in cinemas. Now there is almost always at least one documentary film at SF CentralWorld, with the initiation of the independent outfit Documentary Club (in the programme now is The Hunting Ground, about rape crimes in American universities).
» This is the film you simply have to see this weekend. Uruphong Raksasad's Pleng Khong Kao (The Songs Of Rice) is a lyrical poetry of image and sound, as beautiful as 19th-century pastoral paintings and as evocative as murmured hymns. In a compact 75 minutes, we see muddied beasts stomping the paddies and whirring tractors aglow with nocturnal eyes; we hear the chanting for the Rice Goddess and rhythmic windpipe numbers for the harvest dance. We even marvel, unlikely as it seems, at a zonk-out sci-fi rendition of a northeastern rocket festival, ablaze with fire and sparks and songs and joy.
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