Courtesy extra virgin co

Courtesy Extra Virgin Co.

Agragian Utopia (2009) by Uruphong Radsasad, 122 min, video, Thailand

“In Uruphong Raksasad’s ravishing documentary/fiction hybrid, two rural families, facing the seizure of their lands, come together to work the same rice paddy for a season, using pre-industrial farming methods. The title is, of course, ironic. The film shows a vanishing utopia that in reality is already essentially extinct: the plot of land was rented for the shoot, with Uruphong hiring locals to play the farmers. The serenely beautiful imagery – golden fields, time-lapse skies – bespeaks a nostalgia for a simpler time, but Agrarian Utopia is also clear-sighted and tough-minded in its assessment of the present-day economic and political realities that have transformed Thailand’s agricultural community – among other things, the film provides a partial back-story for the recent clashes in Bangkok between the Thai government and the red-shirt protesters.” – Anthology Film Archives