The Teacher’s Diary
Wednesday, March 4, 2015 at 6:30pm
Center for Korean Studies Auditorium
Thailand (2014, 90 min)
Thai w/English subtitles
Director: Nithiwat Tharathorn
Cast: Laila Boonyasak (as Ann), Sukrit Wisetkaew (as Song), Sukollawat Kanaros ( as Nui),
Chutima Teepanat (as Nam), Witawat Singlampong ( as Nam’s new boyfriend)
Directed by Nithiwat Tharatorn (Season’s Change, Dear Galileo), this comedy-drama follows the stories of two lonely teachers, a woman and a man, who are posted to the same rural school a year apart. The setting is on a houseboat in the middle of a lake up in the mountains of Chiang Mai. Stuck out the boonies, with no electricity, phone service or Internet, one of the teachers turns to keeping an illustrated diary, pouring her thoughts and frustrations into it. When she transfers to another school, she leaves the diary behind. The well-worn notebook is then found by the young man who takes up the rural post. He reads the diary, falls in love with the writer and writes some of his own things in it. After the guy leaves, the woman resumes her former position and finds what he has written, and, having heard a few things about him, she also starts to fall in love, even though the two have never met.
Country schoolteacher dramas are a time-honored subgenre of Thai cinema. They used to be more frequent in the 1970s and ’80s, when filmmakers tackled social problems. The setting is the same, thanks to that stunning lake with no cellphone service, so The Teacher’s Diary is able to recall the feel of the classic old films while blending in bits of contemporary society. But the issues are more personal, detailing the growth of two young characters who rise to a challenge and accomplish more than they ever thought they would. -Wise Kwai, Thai Film Journal
TTD was selected as the Thai entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 87th Academy Awards (IDA, Poland, won the award).
The CSEAS Film Series is hosted by the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, in support of the course ASAN 491G Cinema of Southeast Asia. Partial funding to purchase the films comes from the U.S. Dept. of Education and generous contributions from our loyal film fans.
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