Cinema Lumiere - Sala Scorsese > 14:30


‘Marut’ (Thavi Na Bangchang)
Introduced by

Chalida Uabumrungjit (Thai Film Archive)


Friday 01/07/2016


Original version with simultaneous translation through headphones


Film Notes

The story of a karmic triangle which bound three lives together. Santi, a poor 10-year-old blind boy lives with his father. Vina, his friend, takes a pity on him and tries to protect him from the bullying of Krai. Santi’s father sends him to stay with Luang Ta, a respectable monk, hoping that Santi will learn the lessons of Buddha. He hopes that Santi can regain his eyesight from the karma reaped by doing good deeds. As grown ups, Santi and Vina have become lovers and Krai feels jealous because he also loves Vina. Krai asks his parents to make a marriage proposal to Vina, but Vina decides to run away with Santi. Eventually, the two are finally caught and Santi is severely beaten. On the day of Vina’s marriage with Krai, the cave collapses and Luang Ta sacrifices his life in order to save Santi’s. Santi’s eyesight is miraculous cured but in the end he realizes that real happiness in life is entering the land of the Buddha. Santi-Vina is the first Thai feature film shot in color 35mm at a time when films were generally shot in the 16mm format. It is also the first Thai feature film to win international recognition. In May 1954, the film participated in the first edition of the Film Festival in Southeast Asia in Tokyo where it won two Golden Harvest Awards for Best Cinematography (R.D. Pestonji) and Best Art Direction (Urai Sirisombat). Moreover, the film also received a 35mm Mitchell Camera as a Special AMPP Award from the Association of Motion Picture Producers of America for “the Feature Picture which will Best Disseminate Asian Culture and Increase Understanding of Asia by the West”.
For a long time, the original materials of Santi-Vina were considered lost. There was only one 16mm print in inferior condition at the Thai Film Archive. But in 2014, the original negative was discovered at the BFI and the release prints were also found at the China Film Archive and at the Gosfilmofond.

Cast and Credits

Sog.: Robert G. North. F.: R.D. Pestonji. Scgf.: Urai Sirisombat. Mus.: Nath Tavorabutr. Int.: Poonpan Rangkhavorn (Santi), Rayvadi Sriwilai (Vina). Prod.: Robert G. North e Rak Punyarachun per Far East Film e Hanuman Production. DCP. Col.