Mundane History

Mundane History


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

If this were a leaf it would lie on the forest floor in perfect stillness. The eyes of insects inspect, blink and swivel away. The leaf has no meaning, only shape. Wind rustles the branches of a tree. The leaf lies quietly, waiting for winter. Is this the end of life, energy’s car crash?

Pun (Arkaney Cherkham) is a male nurse in Bangkok. He has been hired to care for Ake (Phakpoom Surapongsanurak), who has had an accident of some kind. At times, the patient is comatose, as if paralysed. At others, he is polar, throwing things about. Nothing happens. Ake masturbates in the bath. This is the limit of physical activity. Pun is quiet, competent and considerate. He reads a lot.

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“Is it possible to live without a past?” Pun asks Ake. “Is it possible to live without a future?” Anocha Suwichakornpong’s film does. And yet somewhere, resting in the folds of its intellectual laundry, is a question about the finite existence of man on earth and nature’s miracle of rebirth.

The leaf is silent. It is beautiful. Soon it will decay. Ake knows. He will lie in his bed far beyond winter, embraced by empty air.

And the audience howls for action.

Reviewed on: 16 Jun 2010
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A male nurse cares for a paralysed patient in Bangkok and waits for something to happen.
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Director: Anocha Suwichakornpong

Writer: Anocha Suwichakornpong

Starring: Arkaney Cherkam, Phakpoom Surapongsanuruk, Paramej Noiam, Anchana Ponpitakthepkij

Year: 2009

Runtime: 82 minutes

Country: Thailand


EIFF 2010

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