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Ton, a young architect from Bangkok, is assigned to oversee the reconstruction of a holiday resort in southern Thailand that had been destroyed by the tsunami. Instead of a staying in one of the big tourist hotels in Takua Pa, he takes lodgings in an inconspicuous small town hotel, where he seems to be the only guest. Ton's flirtation with Na, the young woman who works at the hotel, develops into a passionate relationship, which doesn't escape the suspicious eyes of her sinister brother Wit.

Even the soft waves of the sea, which are underscored in the film's first shot by a subtly threatening electronic sound, suggests that there's more to Wonderful Town than the ordinary conflict between the city and the country. The beauty of the landscape gets in the way of Ton noticing both the social dynamic of the largely depopulated area, and the degree to which the collective psyche is still burdened with the aftermath of the catastrophe. Na embodies both: beauty and injury. Sensitively, delicately, and seductively, Aditya Assarat's elegant feature film debut stages the guileless appropriation of the afflicted province by the naïve big city dweller, and skillfully lures the spectator into the same trap. Although the film irresistibly develops into a veritable thriller, you're still left in disbelief at the gaping wounds in paradise.

Christoph Terhechte

Production: Pop Pictures Co. Ltd., Bangkok

Screenplay: Aditya Assarat

Camera: Umpornpol Yugala

Cast: Anchalee Saisoontorn, Supphasit Kansen, Dul Yaambunying, Sorawit Poolsawat, Prateep Hanudomlap, Chatchai Sae-aong, Panumas Sae-bae, Piyanut Pakdeechat, Noppong Sae-aong, Aroon Uisakul

Format: 35mm, Color

Running time: 92 min.

Language: Thai

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media
  • Logo des Programms NeuStart Kultur