Uruphong Raksasad's Agrarian Utopia (Sawan Baan Na) is still making its way around the festival circuit. It's been in competition this week at the !f Istanbul AFM International Independent Film Festival. And at the end of the month, it makes its U.S. premiere, screening in New York as part of the Museum of Modern Art's Documentary Fortnight 2010: MoMA's International Festival of Nonfiction Film.
Somewhere along the line, Time magazine's John Krich caught the film. In the review Field Daze, he writes:
If there's anything to criticize in the 33-year-old director's sophomore effort (a follow-on from 2006's equally pastoral Stories from the North), it's that his high-definition images — all darkening clouds and lustrous green paddies — are too beautiful. Despite its share of grumbling about corrupt politicians, Agrarian Utopia quickly moves beyond some heavy-handed message movie toward Buddhist meditation. Uruphong's oppressed peasants are as much victims of their own restlessness as they are of meager rice prices. With a poet's eye, the sights and sounds of their close-to-nature existence are transformed into sources of comfort.
I keep being told that Agrarian Utopia is to get a commercial release in Thailand this year. So I hope to see it again.
Update: Treehugger reviews Agrarian Utopia at Istanbul's !f fest.
(Via Extra Virgin)