Screened as part of NZIFF 2021

Blissfully Yours 2002

Sud sanaeha

Directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul

Preceding his Palme d’Or-winning Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives and his latest Cannes prize-winner, Memoria (also showcased in this year’s programme), Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s debut narrative feature landed left-field at NZIFF 2003, holding a curious and unsuspecting audience in mysterious thrall.

Bill Gosden knew this was a director to watch and over the next decade or so kept his eye firmly on whatever Weerasethakul made next –which is to say, some of the most quietly radical art cinema this Festival has had the pleasure of programming. True to the sui generis experience of its original screening, Blissfully Yours is presented here in an ultra-rare 35mm print.

Thailand In Burmese and Thai with English subtitles
126 minutes 35mm


Kanokporn Tongaram
Min Oo
Jenjira Pongpas
Sa-gnad Chaiyapan
Kanitpat Premkij
Jaruwan Techasatiern


Eric Chan
Charles de Meaux


Apichatpong Weerasethakul


Sayombhu Mukdeeprom


Lee Chatametikool


Lee Chatametikool
Teekadet Vucharadhanin

Few feature filmmakers encourage us to remain curiously aware that we are watching people we don’t know, behaving in ways we don’t quite understand.

Blissfully Yours is a sweet, vicarious reverie taking us into intimate proximity with three people whose business with each other on a hot summer day we can only gradually infer. Most of what happens eventually occurs in a dense jungle on the banks of a deep, flowing river where a young man and woman are dallying with a picnic, while their older friend makes an ungainly retreat from a less satisfactory tryst nearby.

Camera placement suggests that we’re spying, but the hushed tenderness and sexual excitement we observe takes us disconcertingly close to the mysteries that two young lovers hold for each other. — Bill Gosden

“It opens wittily with the longest pre-credits sequence in film history: an introduction to the main characters, gradually revealing the binds that tie them. Min is an illegal immigrant from Burma, in need of a forged ID. His Thai girlfriend Roong has hired Orn and her office-manager husband to help get it. Orn wants to get pregnant again before she’s too old for it, but her husband isn’t keen – so she’s having an affair with an office colleague. The credits finally show up as Min guides Roong to a secluded spot in the countryside where they’ll eat, laze, bathe and eventually make love... This is a languid, real-time celebration of the pleasures of the moment – especially the sexual pleasures.” — Tony Rayns, Vancouver International Film Festival