‘Dearest Sister’ Dives into the Horrors of Family Relationships

dearest-sister-nong-hak

“A village girl travels to the Lao capital, Vientiane, to care for her rich cousin who has lost her sight and gained the ability to communicate with the dead.”

Dearest Sister, directed by Mattie Do, can best be understood through the complicated familial relationships that are at its core, which blend love and betrayal within the situational reality of class structures. Nok (played by Amphaiphun Phommapunya) exists in an unsettled position throughout much of the film. When she arrives at her cousin’s home, she is an outsider — the camera peering with her into the home as the servants ignore her and the husband continues to speak English, a language she doesn’t understand. The scenes provide an intense feeling of isolation, which continues even as she is introduced the next day to her cousin Ana (played by Vilouna Phetmany).

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The Barbarians (1987)

The Barbarians-1987

Once upon a time, when I was a much younger self I saw a movie about twin beefcake barbarians trying to find a magical ruby and I loved it. Not so much for the muscle-bound beefcakes, but for the wise cracking outlaw chick who becomes their friend.

As the years went by, my memory of this fantasy cheesefest began to fade. The movie became lost to obscurity and I never thought I would be able to track it down again — until I stumbled upon it while wading through Comcast OnDemand. My cheesy fantasy loving heart couldn’t resist.

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