Politician Parl eats supper with his family a day before the coup that will result in his exile. During the night, his wife Ploy is visited by the same dream that she had the last time she saw her father. 40 years previously, her father disappeared as the repressions began, and Ploy, then just a young girl, slipped into a coma. The family has suffered through many sleepless days and nights over the years; from the bloody crackdown on the 1976 student uprising to the 2006 military coup in Thailand. A shadow flits across the sun: does this mean that everyone will be awakened?
The meditative impact that the black-and-white images conceived of by experimental Thai director and multimedia artist Sakpisit have on the audience can be likened to a slow heartbeat. Something easy to accept as one’s own. The Edge of Daybreak is a fragmented ornament of a family’s history and won the FIPRESCI award in Rotterdam. Just like the director’s other works, this film is also characterised by the state’s violent intrusion into individuals’ personal relationships and consciousness. The political turbulence in Thailand has left the protagonists with a sense of guilt and a heritage of violence words cannot describe. Like compositions made up of intertwining shadows, they exist in liminal states: forced wakefulness, paralysis, lethargic sleep, or as restless ghosts expelled from the flesh – it’s all the same. And internally they are in exile.