Environmental enthusiasts might be caught by surprise. By The River (Sai Nam Tid Chua) is a documentary film based on the toxic poisoning at Klity village in Kanchanaburi province, but it’s not a “green” film in the conventional sense. Your befuddlement is thus understandable. The film is a surprising departure from “save-the-world” films driven by serious content, grim footage, long interviews and heavy messages, if not cartoon animation that preaches urban kids to hug trees and denounce capitalists (remember The Lorax and Dr Seuss?).
By The River (Sai Nam Tid Chua)
At 4PM and 8PM at SF World Cinema, Central World, and SFX Maya, Chiang Mai. Directed by Nontawat Numbenchapol. In Thai and Karen with English subtitles.
By The River is the work of Nontawat Numbenchapol, an up-and-coming film director who sincerely admits that he had not known much about environmental issues. But being passionate and knowledgeable about environment does not always guarantee a successful take on an environmental film. It’s storytelling, compassion and good judgement that lifts Nontawat’s project. By The River won special mention at Switzerland-based Locarno International Film Festival 2013. The movie has also earned rave reviews from critics and praise from local environmental activists. Yes, those serious greenies have taken a liking to this poetic take on a heavy issue.
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