Chopstick Cinema

Celeste Heiter's Adventures in Asian Food & Film

More About Jan Dara

Chopstick Cinema

This Week's Film: Jan Dara
Cuisine: Thai

While there is lots to be found on the erotic plot of Jan Dara, there is precious little background information on the making of the movie or those involved in its production. One fact that is commonly found is that the film is based upon the best-selling Thai novel ‘The Story of Jan Dara' by Utsana Phleungtham. And I am already familiar with director and screenwriter Nonzee Nimibutr because I featured Nang Nak, another of his films on Chopstick Cinema a few months ago. However, the cast of Jan Dara have not previously appeared in any familiar films.

Amid controversy in Thailand because the sex scenes it contains come close to violating the censorship guidelines of the 1930 Film Act, Jan Dara premiered at the 2001 Toronto International Film Festival, and also screened at the Vancouver International Film Festival, the London Film Festival, the Pusan International Film Festival, the International Film Festival Rotterdam, and the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival. And despite the controversy, Jan Dara received Thailand National Film Association Awards for Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, and was also nominated for best screenplay and best sound.

Since I have not yet seen the film, I had to rely on reviews and synopses that I’ve read to determine whether it was worthy of featuring for this week’s film. And although the viewers and critics offered widely mixed reviews, those that I read intrigued me enough to feature it sight unseen. No doubt I will have plenty to say about Jan Dara once I’ve watched it.

My film review will be posted at the end of the week, along with my Thai curry recipe.

For questions or comments send e-mail to cheiter at thingsasian dot com