For further information please download the film sheet (PDF).
The first railway line in Thailand, a sign of progress and wealth, was inaugurated in 1893. Looking out of the train window today, you can still see rice paddies and palm trees. In first class, foreign tourists mingle with rich Thais, toasting one another before retiring to generously-sized couchettes. The wagons at the back are jam-packed, with four passengers squashed on to benches meant for two. People selling food skillfully make their way through the train. Life gets on and off, while the camera mixes with the passengers as if it itself were one of their number. A woman sells cheap novels, children do their homework, armed soldiers conduct their checks, more and more veiled women board the train. These tiny, casually observed portraits of everyday life reflect the mood of a society that doesn’t seem to know where it’s headed, even if the train has been crossing the country from north to south for over 100 years now. It is a contemplative journey accompanied by the constant rattling of the wheels, giving viewers an insight into an unfamiliar country in surprising fashion. (Anke Leweke)
Production: Kick the Machine Films, Bangkok; At a Time Pictures, Bangkok
Camera: Sompot Chidgasornpongse
Running time: 102 min
Photo: © Phim Umari