Thursday Movie Picks #47: Non-English Language Movies – Asian Language Movies Set in South East Asia (Non-Horror)

Finally, I return to Thursday Movie Picks series by Wandering Through the Shelves. As for this week, the theme is kinda close to me: Non-English Language Movies – Asian Language Movies Set in South East Asia.

I’d traditionally choose Indonesian flicks for this kind of theme. However, there are other Southeast Asia movies, which really deserves attention. From a Singaporean family drama, Indonesian Alice in the Wonderland to Thai equivalent to Lost in Translation makes my picks for this week.

So, I present you my picks. 

01. Ilo Ilo (2013) – Singapore

Ilo Ilo (2003) - Singapore

Anthony Chen’s directorial debut is a hell of a family movie. It centers around a middle-class family in Singapore with a series of tragedy and unfortunate events, but it is kept warm by uplifting relationship of the housekeeper and the child of the family. Warm but melancholy, Ilo Ilo is a real portrait of family issue in Singapore without facade.

02. Fiksi. (2008) – Indonesia

fiksi. (2008) Indonesia

fiksi. is a slow-burning Indonesian psychological thriller which centers around the dwellers of an apartment in Jakarta suburb from the perspective of a troubled girl. It’s a realistic inversion of Alice in the Wonderland with a darker premise, a more bitter conclusion, and more Asian touches. When I said Alice in the Wonderlands, it’s the real one.

03. Last Life in the Universe (2003) – Thailand

Last Life in the Universe (2003)

With three languages spoken through the entire movie, Last Life in the Universe is one of the most unique Thai movies. Tadanobu Asano is a Japanese librarian in Japan Foundation in Thailand. Twist of fate leads him to meet his Thai sort-of lover with mutual guilt. It might be too pretentious, however, there’s a quintessence of Japanese and Thai artsy elements pinned along the film making it a peculiar collaboration.

So that’s it…my three picks. Hit comment button if anything.



Author: Paskalis Damar AK

A Bali-based blogger. A cinema loner and self-claimed movie fan since 2013. Public Relation in non-cinematic world.

10 thoughts on “Thursday Movie Picks #47: Non-English Language Movies – Asian Language Movies Set in South East Asia (Non-Horror)”

  1. I am also one who had to sit this one out since I have not seen any but these sound interesting especially the first 2. I wish we could see more of these films but living in a typical small city, I doubt they would ever come here


    1. Indeed they’re interesting 🙂 but I must admit that Southeast Asia movies are traditionally not distributed world wide and always get overshadowed by movies from East Asia or even Middle East. I hope they’ll get a go someday 🙂


    1. Ilo Ilo has political subtexts, which kinda reminds me of something happened at that time. Therefore I feel it close to me.
      Last Life in the Universe despite of having Japanese cast and setting is completely Thai movie, with Thai director and all.


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