May Adadol Ingawanij

Academic, Centre for Research and Education, Arts and Media, University of Westminster

Thailand/UK

Voted in the critics’ poll

Voted for

Aguaespejo granadino

1955

José Val del Omar

Black Girl

1965

Ousmane Sembene

Brighter Summer Day, A

1991

Edward Yang

Evolution of a Filipino Family

2004

Lav Díaz

House of Trubnaia Square, The

1928

Boris Barnet

I Was Born, But…

1932

Ozu Yasujirô

Manila by Night

1981

Ishmael Bernal

Night of Counting the Years, The

1970

Shadi Abdel Salam

Spirit of the Beehive, The

1973

Víctor Erice

Syndromes and a Century

2006

Apichatpong Weerasethakul

Comments

Most of the films on this list were made under conditions of repression or during moments of profound change. Creativity and political tumult are somehow linked – this we see time and again. What intrigues me is the way that filmmakers turn to the melodramatic and the experimental at such moments. Experimental films are richest when they draw on the resources of melodrama, and melodramatic films are at their most radical when they have an experimental charge. Two films on this list don’t fit this description so well. One is here because it doesn’t seem to belong to any time – such is its creativity. The other is here because it teaches us that life is very disappointing.

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