Thai director Pen-ek Ratanaruang’s long-awaited film noir Samui Song kicks off Venice Days on Wednesday and Screen has obtained a trailer to the picture ahead of the premiere.

Popular Thai actress Cherman “Ploy” Boonyasak plays Viyada, a Thai soap opera whose happy marriage to wealthy expat Jerome turns sour when he becomes devoted to a charismatic cult leader, The Holy One.

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Not content with ensnaring Jerome, The Holy One seems to have designs on Viyada too. She resorts to drastic measures to escape his clutches.

“Here we have a story of an actress who struggles in a male-dominated environment where she has no way of defining herself… She tries everything to break free from this oppressive environment… which eventually leads her to becoming entangled in a serious crime,” explains the director.

“Though nominally a dark noir, I want the film to be surprising and unexpected – an ode, if you will, to cinema itself. Using Hitchcock as a starting point, the film serves as an homage to the kinds of movies I enjoy, from Buñuel to Thai cinema from the ‘60s.”

Samui Song is a Thai-German-Norwegian co-production led by Raymond Phathanavirangoon of Bangkok-based Bluering Company Limited in association with Cinema22 and in co-production with Germany’s Augenschein Filmproduktion. It was supported by Thailand’s Ministry of Culture, Germany’s World Cinema Fund and Norway’s Sørfond.

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