Rirkrit Tiravanija, Lung Neaw Visits His Neighbors, Thailand 2011, 149 min
At the age of sixty, Lung Neaw (Uncle Neaw) finds himself retired from his life as a rice farmer in a small village in the Northern Thai Province of Chiang Mai. Away from the chatter and noise of recent political upheaval, in the capital Bangkok, and the demand for democratic reforms, we follow Lung Neaw in his daily life. We see Lung Neaw living off the land that he has known since he was born, fishing, hunting and foraging for herbs and vegetation in the open fields and forest nearby his home. He goes about the chores of living and fills up his idle time with the practicalities of a rural existence, and in between he finds time to spend with neighbours, from the local sage, to the ailing and aged elephant king deep in the valley, to children who play in his front yard and the youngsters at the local watering hole. Lung Neaw is known in the surrounding villages and his own as the man without enemies, a fair man without judgment and humble with his humility.
We have to ask, ‘What more can one want when one is already living in Paradise?’, in this moment when many people are asking for equality, opportunity, self determination and for democracy in the hands of the people, in Lung Neaw we find both answers and questions to these demands. We find it in the sustenance of self awareness and sufficiency and in compassion and humility, we find it in the narrative of the real and of the simplicity of each day.
The screening is followed by a conversation between Rirkrit Tiravanija and Tate film curator Stuart Comer.