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‘Dearest Sister’ takes Laotian thrills to Thai cinema screens

‘Dearest Sister’ takes Laotian thrills to Thai cinema screens

FRIDAY, May 26, 2017
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Audiences on both sides of the Mekong have been falling for the new Laotian feature “Dearest Sister” this month, with the film hitting a growing number of screens in Laos and Thailand alike.

The film has received positive feedback and media coverage that has proved most satisfying to the film’s directors, producer, performers and crew.
Director Mattie Do spoke to Vientiane Times at the announcement of the Lao Young Designer Project winner at the French ambassador’s residence, having just returned from Thailand to promote her film.
Do said the film had provoked posiฌtive interest and feedback from Thai audiences and critics alike. 
She said that at first, the film was screening at just three cinemas in Bangkok and a total of 15 in Thailand. But after the media round, the number of screens in the city rose to 25, and 50 across Thailand.
More cinemas have been expressฌing interest, she said.
The film launched in Laos a week in advance of Thailand to assist in promotion.
She said she was happily surprised to see the response on both sides of the border, which had exceeded her expectations.
Lao audiences had also expressed excitement at the quality of the production.
The film indirectly explores social trends as well as the impact of changing lifestyles in Vientiane as country meets city in the form of the relationship between two strong female characters, one suffering from vision impairment.
Word of mouth helped win potenฌtial audiences over to the movie, not a horror film so much as a thriller set amid the modern realities of life in the Laotian capital.
Sharing much with Laos in terms of language family, tradition and culture, audiences in Thailand have increasingฌly flocked to cinemas to experience the film, which draws on a shared sense of the supernatural.
Do said Lao and Thai audiences shared similar cultures and traditions and confronted similar social issues, which allowed audiences in both counฌtries to sympathise with the characฌters.
At the mediaround screening in Thailand, critics were shocked, as they had not expected a Laotian film of such excellence. Quality acting and editing had seen the story hit the right note with viewers, she said.
After the Thai screenings, many audience members recommended that their compatriots come to watch the film.
“Dearest Sister” has been garnering praise in other countries as well. It has been noted for its portrayal of the transforming realities within Laotian society and modern lifestyles colliding with traditional belief and superstition complicated by matters of class backฌground and familial relations.
Lead actress Vilouna Phetmany said the movie depicted the life of Lao women from both urban and rural areas.
She said this movie showed Lao culture from another angle, including the strong role of women and the challenges faced by people with disabilities such as vision impairment.