Tears of the black tiger
TEARS OF THE BLACK TIGER takes a journey back to a lost past – the heroic years of Thai genre cinema, when influences from Hollywood and everywhere else were subsumed into rollicking Thai melodramas for an audience of avid fans. Sasanatieng’s film is a brilliant pastiche of vanished themes, styles and characters, almost all of them easily recognizable as variants on the prototypes from other popular cinemas. But the film’s project is not simply nostalgic. Sasanatieng uses the tricks and tropes of film style from the 1960’s- iris shots, wipes, obvious back-projection – but combines them with a startling, modernist approach to color and storytelling. The result is not only unique in Thai cinema but also an entirely new way of looking at genre entertainment.
TEARS OF THE BLACK TIGER offers nostalgia as future shock.
When Dum, a young peasant boy, falls in love with Rumpoey, the daughter of a wealthy family, they vow that, whatever happens, they will one day be together. When they meet again ten years later, their rekindled passion is thwarted by the murder of Dum’s father by outlaws and by Rumpoey’s betrothal to a smooth-talking police captain. Dum soon transforms himself into the gunslinging bandit, “Black Tiger,” in order to infiltrate the gang who murdered his father. Fate will reunite the lovers one more time, but will they be able to continue their romance? Or will tragedy strike again?