SF IndieFest: KARAOKE GIRL (Sao Karaoke)
First show: February 08 Last show: February 14
Director Visra Vichit Vadakan’s feature debut humanizes an element of Thailand social fabric usually painted as flat caricature. Karaoke Girl follows Sa, a young country girl, working at a bar in Bangkok, Thailand as an escort to support her family back home. Cast as herself, 23-year-old Sa is revealed to us in a blend of documentary and fiction, exploring city and country, family and romance.
The filmmaker and Sa (who never acted in a film a before) first spent several weeks together; only then did Visra Vichit Vadakan start writing a screenplay about her protagonist. By then she knew Sa like her own sister. For an intimate portrait of an escort girl, the film is remarkably discreet. It’s about dreams and feelings, not so much about paid sex. Sa steps into the imagination of the filmmaker in order to shape her own life. Shot on gorgeous 35mm. Official selection: Karlovy Vary FF, and Vancouver Int.’l FF. (Int.’l FF of Rotterdam)
-Jeff M. Giordano