Santi, a blind boy, and Vina, a strong and outspoken girl, are childhood sweethearts whose love for each other blossoms through their growing years. Krai, who vies for Vina’s heart is determined to keep them apart. The karmic love triangle eventually leads to a tragic yet miraculous end.
About the director
Thavi Na Bangchang, also known as “Marut” is a veteran stage director. He worked on the productions of Prince Bhanubandhu Yugala’s Assavin Karn Lakorn Troupe and Sawas Thikamporn’s Sivarom Troupe. He also worked in R.D. Pestonji’s independent film studio Hanuman Films, where he directed Santi-Vina. Several of his films remain lost, but Forever Yours (1955) and Pantai Norasingh (1950) are among his surviving films. Little is known of his personal life.
Source: Singapore International Film Festival
Film and Restoration
Santi-Vina is a rare representation of rural Thailand, portraying the importance of community, love, and Buddhism, and the impact these have on individual lives within that culture.
Regarded as the holy grail of Thai cinema, Santi-Vina was Thailand’s first film to compete and garner critical international recognition. The film is also the first in Thailand to be shot in 35mm colour with quality sound. The film premiered at the first edition of the Film Festival in Southeast Asia in Toyko, winning two awards.
Lost for 60 years, the reels were re-discovered in 2014, when they were found in archives from Russia, China, and the UK. Its 4K restoration is the product of 1,700 hours of work.
During restoration, the original print from the British Film Institute required significant colour correction, as the negatives had decayed with a yellow hue running throughout the reels. A second print from the China Film Archive was referenced to ensure the print was corrected to its intended colour.
Santi-Vina is the first Thai film to be screened at Cannes Classics in 2016.
Donsaron Kovitvanitcha Specia (The Nation)
Chayanit Itthipongmaetee (KhaoSod English)
Kaewta Ketbungkan (KhaoSod English)