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Red Aninsri; or, Tiptoeing on the Still Trembling Berlin Wall

Description

The queer espionage film made in the tradition of Cold-War-era Thai dubbed film. A ladyboy prostitute-cum-spy is assigned a mission to disguise as a cis-masculine gay to spy on a student activist.

Queer love and an intelligent political commentary meet in Ratchapoom Boonbunchachoke’s hyper stylistic work that references “Thai cinema from the past”. Ang is a blonde transgender prostitute who doubles as spy, ordered to disguise herself as a cisgender man to spy on Jit, a student and activist, considered an enemy of the state.

Riffing on the popular dubbed films of Cold War Thailand, Red Aninsri unfolds like a suspenseful espionage film playing with the modes of a bygone era to comment on the anachronistic fixtures of the present. Stripped of their real voices, Ang and Jit are boxed inside predetermined roles, their lives confined to the limitations of a script. Embracing one’s real identity equals treason and genuine sentiments are simply discouraged. A blonde wig, sunglasses and a beige trench coat conjure up Wong Kar-Wai’s Chungking Express. Red Aninsri throws the viewer into an idiosyncratic world conflating reality and cinematic references.

Ren Scateni

Director filmography: Anna and the Prince (2014), La Double Vie de Maniejan (2013), Dites Lui que je ne veux pas etre Sous-titre (2011), Bodily Fluid is So Revolutionary (2009)

Details

  • Director Ratchapoom Boonbunchachoke
  • Country Thailand
  • Year 2020
  • Duration 29 min
  • UK Premiere

Programmes

Bill Douglas Award 4: Against the Grain

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