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Archive - 11th Five Flavours Film Festival

Bangkok Nites

Japan, Laos, Thailand, France 2016, 183’
subtitles: Polish and English
director: Katsuya Tomita
screenplay: Toranosuke Aizawa, Katsuya Tomita
cinematography: Studio Ishi (Masahiro Mukoyama, Takuma Furuya)
music: SOI48, Yong-G
cast: Subenja Pongkorn, Sunun Phuwiset, Chutlpha Promplang, Tanyarat Kongphu, Sarinya Yongsawat, Hitoshi Ito, Yohta Kawase
producer: Shinsuke Nagase, Terutaro Osanai
production: Kuzoku, Flying Pillow Films, Trixsta, Les Films de l’Étranger, Bangkok Planning, Lao Art Media
language: Japanese, Thai, English
colouration: colour

Awards and festivals

Locarno IFF 2016; Busan IFF 2016; Singapore IFF 2016; Nippon Connection 2017; Taipei IFF 2017

Film description

Bangkok, the entertainment district, dozens of erotic agencies specializing in Japanese clients. Working in one of them is Luck, who meets her old lover, Ozawa. The woman has moved on since they last saw each other and she now specializes in the most exclusive orders, supporting not just herself, but also her family living by the Laos border. He came back to Thailand, driven away from his homeland by the economic crisis and unemployment. The story of their complicated relationship becomes a pretext to portray the cultural entanglement of the region.

The thick, broad plot is much more than just a snapshot of an impossible romance. The characters keeps encountering each other, but cannot meet – just like the many narrations entwining the paradoxical Thai reality. The relations between the using and the used are very ambiguous; the manipulated deceive the manipulators, and someone different entirely profits from it. Expats from the West, looking for a carefree life in an exotic paradise, don’t deem to be more content with their lives than the children from a Lao village situated by the still visible bomb craters.

Tomita introduces a number of supporting characters, whose stories could easily bee turned into separate features. One of the protagonists of the film is the city, photographed in a very sensual way, creating a visual mosaic with other locations, perfectly conveying the multilayered structure of the narration. The intercultural exchange is also seen on the aesthetic level – the poetics of independent Japanese cinema is intertwined with small references to Apichatpong Weerasethakul.

Jagoda Murczyńska

Katsuya Tomita

Born in 1972, has been directing since 1996. To make his feature debut, he worked at a construction site and drove a truck. He used award he received for the film to make his subsequent projects. His two latest features premiered in Locarno. He is one of the most original independent Japanese filmmakers, and lives in turns in japan and in Thailand. 


2003 Kumo no ue / Above the Clouds

2007 Kokudo 20 gosen / Off Highway 20

2011 Saudaji / Saudade

2016 Noce Bangkoku / Bankoku naitsu / Bangkok Nites

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