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Mundane History

This first full-length feature by the Thai film maker Anocha Suwichakornpong is as mysterious as life itself. A bitter young man who is paralysed from the waist down after an accident has been appointed a new nurse. Their relationship is cool, to put it mildly, and his authoritarian father, who seldom shows his face, also is not a model of warmth and understanding. In long, neutral scenes separated by hard cuts, the contours emerge of a restrained psychological drama in which the young man's cynicism slowly makes way for a renewed, cautious attempt to explore life.

Then, the film unexpectedly drops all its reserves and explodes in a hallucinogenic ode to the universe that, like people, has to go through a cycle of birth and death. The editing frees itself from the fixed course of time. 'Can you live in an eternal present, without past and future?' is the question that is asked somewhere halfway through. Behind the narration about the paralysed man and his nurse lies the real essence: a meditation about our place in the cosmos - insignificant, yet grand.