The Island Funeral
A couple of young people drive out of town for a long journey. It could well be a Thai Jules and Jim. On the way, it however becomes clear that the world outside the car is not so light-hearted, that one Thai is after another Thai’s blood. A late second film by a now-wiser filmmaker.
A story like a realistic dream by a filmmaker genuinely involved with the problems of her politically divided country, a country that is a tourist paradise but also on the brink of civil war.
The protagonist is Laila, a young woman who travels from Bangkok for family reasons to the deep south of the province of Pattani. She does not go on her own, but with her brother and a friend. On the way, they pick up a soldier. Pattani is torn by a rebellion that has been dragging on for years and has cost thousands of lives.
The Island Funeral is certainly also a road movie, with the symbolism that belongs to the genre: the real journey represents an inner journey. The film is the opposite of a political pamphlet. It tries to provide insight into the memories-in-the-making of a generation that has to find its way in a country that hides great confusion behind a smile. The journey does not end in paradise, but it does end in a wondrous world.