Tuesday, May 13, 2008

New doc from Pop and Nisa: Our Southern Home

Beauty queen-turned-filmmaker Areeya "Pop" Chumsai and her collaborator Nisa Kongsri will be releasing their sophomore documentary, Our Southern Home, next month.

Pop was hanging out at the Directors' Screen premiere of Wonderful Town last Thursday night, handing out postcards to promote the new documentary.

For their 2005 debut film, Innocence (Dek toh), the co-directors Pop and Nisa focused on hilltribe schoolchildren in Northern Thailand. It was a touching story, illuminating the difficulties faced by children from the remote, poverty-stricken and marginalized communities, and it also spotlighted the dedication and compassion of one school principal who sought to make a difference in the kids' lives.

Since then, Nisa and Pop have been looking at the situation in Southern Thailand with Our Southern Home (Oh Oh Paktai Baan-rao, ปักษ์ใต้บ้านเรา).

An e-mail from Pop explains the documentary in detail:

The story will follow four families from the south from different backgrounds - a Thai family surviving after the father was shot and killed in the deep south, a Chinese restaurant owner in Krabi who started his business from nothing that has become one of the most successful businesses there, a Muslim fisherman who lost his home and fishing boat during the tsunami and a family-owned bottling plant that sells Coca-Cola with a commitment to their community.

This is a deep look into the families and how they are surviving within the context of the problems of the south - be it natural disaster or terrorism bombing in Hat Yai. These are the faces of the people, the Southern people, beyond the news and beyond the stereotype. These families are surviving through compassion towards each other and helping one another when tragedy strikes.

Public screenings start on June 26 at the Lido cinemas in Siam Square in Bangkok. More details will be forthcoming at their official website, PigONine.com.

1 comment:

  1. A side note on the title--it's a line from a song sung down south, that a southern friend once taught me:

    โอ่โอ ปักษ์ใต้บ้านเรา โอ่โอ ปักษ์ใต้บ้านเรา แม่น้ำ ภูเขา ทะเลกว้างใหญ่ จะไปไหน ปักษ์ใต้บ้านเรา จะไปไหน ปักษ์ใต้บ้านเรา

    Oh oh, paktai baan rao .. oh oh, paktai baan rao .. mae naam, phu khao, thalay kwaang yai .. ca pai nai? paktai baan rao .. ca pai nai? paktai baan rao

    Oh, oh, the south, our home .. oh, oh, the south or home .. rivers, mountains, the expansive sea .. where will you go? the south, our home .. where will you go? the south, our home.

    I imagine that anyone from the south can sing this song (but I haven't ever tested that assumption).

    I look forward to finding a chance to see this.


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