• Nontawat Numbenchapol
  • Thailand, France, Cambodia
  • 2013
  • 96 min
  • Dutch Premiere
  • Emerging Voices from Southeast Asia
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In a documentary about the long, drawn-out, violent border dispute between Thailand and Cambodia over the Preah Vihear Hindu temple (a Unesco World Heritage Site since 2008), you wouldn’t necessarily expect the filmmaker to include an in-depth look at the traditional fishing trade, which has a fisherman apologizing for the wobbling of his boat ("There’s not normally a camera onboard."). The omission of voice-over is another unorthodox element: explanations are given in the form of text superimposed on the images of a road trip to the border area. Director Nontawat Numbenchapol often also omits the sound altogether: what you see is not what you hear. These stylistic devices force us to let go of our prejudices; just like the local population, we simply don’t know when something may happen. This allows the director, who himself is "curious and confused" about what exactly is going on, to get closer to the essence of the dispute over the decaying temple. The focus on the ordinary, everyday lives of the locals says more about the situation than any authority ever could.


  • 96 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: Thai, Khmer
  • Subtitles in: English, Thai
Nontawat Numbenchapol
Nontawat Numbenchapol for Mobile Lab
Vycky Films
Nontawat Numbenchapol
Nontawat Numbenchapol
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IDFA history

Dutch Premiere
Emerging Voices from Southeast Asia

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IDFA history