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DIRECTED BY: Fabrice du Welz
FEATURING: Emmanuelle Béart, , Petch Osathanugrah, Julie Dreyfus
PLOT: Months after their son was lost in the tsunami that devastated Phuket, Jeanne and Paul see a video that suggests the boy might be alive deep in the Burmese jungle. They undertake a perilous voyage into Myanmar to find him, but encounter increasing danger and incomprehensible conditions. As their guides continue to make demands and lead them deeper into unfamiliar territory, Paul becomes more and more skeptical, but Jeanne remains resolved to find her child.
- The title is a term defined within the film as a spirit that has died a horrible death, becoming confused and angry and haunting the living world. The word may have been invented for this movie.
- Du Welz’s second feature film, following Calvaire.
- Filmed on location in Thailand, where in 2004 the Boxing Day tsunami killed nearly 5,400 people, including 2,000 foreign tourists.
- Petch Osathanugrah passed away in August 2023 after living a remarkably varied life. Vinyan is his only credited acting role, but he was also a pop singer, art collector, president of Bangkok University, and CEO of the Osotspa beverage company, which manufactures the M-150 energy drink.
INDELIBLE IMAGE: The final shot of the movie features despairing mother Jeanne giving herself over to the angry spirits of the region’s lost children, smiling deliriously while the white-painted boys caress and smear mud on her naked body. Immediately following a shocking burst of violence, the scene is a potent vision of both her psychological state and the primal landscape that has subsumed her.
TWO WEIRD THINGS: Hungry old white people are funny; an ancient temple appears
WHAT MAKES IT WEIRD: An unexpected blend of Don’t Look Now and Apocalypse Now, Vinyan builds horror out of unrelenting grief in a violently hostile world. The deeper we go into both the wilds of the Burmese coast and into the heroine’s desperation, the more disturbing the setting becomes, and the more inevitably tragic the characters’ fate.
Original trailer for Vinyan
COMMENTS: Vinyan begins as a horror story that has already concluded: a child has been lost in a terrible cataclysm. This would be Continue reading 42.* VINYAN (2008)