A young woman named Nok is brought from her village to the city to help take care of her cousin Ana by Ana’s European husband. Ana is suffering from visual impairment and seems to be emotionally disturbed and hurting herself. However, the truth is far stranger; as Ana is losing her normal sight, she is gaining the ability to perceive and interact with the dead. As Nok soon learns, they are also causing her to whisper some very important numbers in her sleep.
The festival documentation makes much of the fact that Mattie Do is one of the pioneers of Laotian cinema, as well as their only working horror and female director. That is extremely impressive, but it should not overshadow her raw talent as a filmmaker. Do’s first film Chanthaly was a unique delight and she has improved on that start with Dearest. She has kept her unique sense of pacing and unusual, clipped but effective editing style that has come to define Laotian cinema; while upping her game with a fantastic narrative and a steadier, more experienced, visual skill. Coupling Do’s direction with an imaginative and original script by Christopher Larsen, Dearest Sister is a captivating tale that draws you in and doesn’t let go.
Adam Ruhl is a writer and life long Cinephile. He is the Executive
Cinema Editor of Pop Culture Beast’s Austin branch; covering festivals,
conventions, and new releases. When not filing reports, Adam can be
found stalking Alamo Drafthouse Programmers for leads on upcoming
DrafthouseFilms titles. Adam once blocked Harry Knowles entrance to a
theater until he was given extra tickets to a Roman Polanski movie.