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  • Southeast Asian Cinema – When the Rooster Crows
  • When Cannes gave the Best Director Award to Brillante Mendoza in 2009, most cinephiles around the world had most probably never heard of his name. The following year, a Thai film won the coveted Golden Palm. Around the same time, in other prestigious film festivals across the world, films from South East Asia were gaining ground. Suddenly there was a surge of public interest to discover more about the cinema from this far remote region of the world.Documentary film When the Rooster Crows tries to explain what’s behind this phenomenon. The film takes off with interviews in four different countries in South East Asia with each of its most renowned director and major movers. Interwoven clips from their films and scenes from the street lend authentic colors and texture to visual style of the documentary.Through their words, each director candidly shared their experience working and producing independently, all of them, breaking barriers and challenging norms. They discuss the issue of censorship, both state and self-imposed and how to navigate through it. Largest part of their work is both a reflection and a critique toward today’s society in their country, from culture preservation, fundamentalism, society induced malaise, ethnic favoritism. They ponder on the future of the region and the prospect of working together.When the Rooster Crows is a voice of diversity reaching for change. Brillante Mendoza, Eric Khoo, Garin Nugroho, Pen Ek Ratanaruang give voice to a region rich with traditions, ethnic groups, languages, politics, and religions. It is cinema, at its purest form, fighting for freedom of expression, documenting real lives of ordinary people, giving voice to the underdogs and the outcasts. The amalgamation of these aspects gives birth to an ultra-neo-realistic cinema language currently unique to films from this region.

EDN Member
Leonardo Cinieri Lombroso


Finished Film