Films & Schedules
  • Nymph
    Nang Mai

  • Pen-ek Ratanaruang

Country: Thailand
94 minutes


Thursday September 1008:45PM VARSITY 3 Buy Now
Saturday September 1210:00AM SCOTIABANK THEATRE 4 Buy Now
Friday September 1808:45PM AMC 4 Buy Now
Description Credits


Belief in the supernatural has always been integral to Thai culture. Relationships between ghosts and the living have been chronicled and retold for generations. Chilling tales involving nature are especially numerous, with many concerning female tree spirits who appear in human form. Legend has it that anyone who dares disturb these nymphs will forfeit his or her life. In acclaimed Thai director Pen-ek Ratanaruang's latest work, Nymph, this type of spectral retribution is demonstrated via a breathtakingly bravura long take that serves as the film's prologue.

Flash-forward to the present: a young couple, Nop and May, are stuck in a lovelorn marriage. Nop, a photographer, is sent to a country park for an assignment, where he becomes increasingly drawn to the natural world. May tags along, but she instead preoccupies herself with cellphones and laptops, unable to extricate herself from her modern trappings. When he goes missing, May, who is also having an affair with her boss, suddenly realizes the error of her ways, but not before strange events begin to unfold.

In many ways, Nymph continues the themes explored in the director's previous film, Ploy, especially with regard to marriage and love triangles. Both films feature a troubled relationship rocked by the sudden intrusion of a mysterious third party. However, in Nymph, this third party happens to be a haunted tree. The atmospheric mood serves the paranormal twists well, and the film veers from classic suspense to moments of rich sensuality, aided immensely by the charismatic lead actress, Wanida Termthanaporn, and the nymph herself, who wanders naked through the woods. The languid pacing, understated details and lush sound design help to imbue the forest with an otherworldly quality.

Far from a traditionalist, Ratanaruang, who originally conceived of Nymph as a horror film, takes a well-known myth and radically subverts it using the sources of our contemporary angst: the technological divide, illicit affairs and ecological destruction. The version presented here is a brand-new director's cut, which is fifteen minutes shorter than the Cannes cut.

Raymond Phathanavirangoon

Pen-ek Ratanaruang was born in Bangkok and studied art history at the Pratt Institute in New York City. After working as a graphic artist, he returned to Thailand. He has directed the features Fun Bar Karaoke (97), 6ixtynin9 (99), Mon-rak Transistor (01), Last Life in the Universe (03), Invisible Waves (06) and Ploy (07), and the shorts Twelve Twenty (06) and Total Bangkok (06). He directed the segment Silence in the omnibus film Sawasdee Bangkok (09), which is also screening at this year's Festival. Nymph (09) is his most recent feature.

Cadillac People's Choice Award