May Adadol Ingawanij

Academic, Centre for Research and Education, Arts and Media, University of Westminster


Voted in the critics’ poll

Voted for

Aguaespejo granadino


José Val del Omar

Black Girl


Ousmane Sembene

Brighter Summer Day, A


Edward Yang

Evolution of a Filipino Family


Lav Díaz

House of Trubnaia Square, The


Boris Barnet

I Was Born, But…


Ozu Yasujirô

Manila by Night


Ishmael Bernal

Night of Counting the Years, The


Shadi Abdel Salam

Spirit of the Beehive, The


Víctor Erice

Syndromes and a Century


Apichatpong Weerasethakul


Most of the films on this list were made under conditions of repression or during moments of profound change. Creativity and political tumult are somehow linked – this we see time and again. What intrigues me is the way that filmmakers turn to the melodramatic and the experimental at such moments. Experimental films are richest when they draw on the resources of melodrama, and melodramatic films are at their most radical when they have an experimental charge. Two films on this list don’t fit this description so well. One is here because it doesn’t seem to belong to any time – such is its creativity. The other is here because it teaches us that life is very disappointing.

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