“Do you want me to bury your corpse here?”
Such a dark question from such an innocent boy (Por Silatsa), and yet this sets the tone for “The Long Walk” trailer, which IndieWire exclusively premieres below.
The critically acclaimed film by Laos’ first female filmmaker Mattie Do premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2019 before playing at the Toronto International Film Festival. The time-traveling drama is set in Laos and follows a ghost that can transport an aging hermit (Yannawoutthi Chanthalungsy) to the moment of his mother’s death, 50 years prior.
“People say they’ve seen a boy walking down the road with a young woman,” the trailer hints. “But when they get close, she vanishes.”
Chanthamone Inoudome portrays the young mother, with Vilouna Phetmany, Noutnapha Soydara, and Vithaya Sombath rounding out the cast.
“The Long Walk” is written by Christopher Larsen and directed and produced by Do, whose previous two films “Chanthaly” and “Dearest Sister” have respectively been recognized by Oldenburg International Film Festival and Locarno International Film Festival.
“A deliberately paced story that burns with intensity and human emotion, ‘The Long Walk’ is all at once a culturally rich ghost story, a grim near-future sci-fi, and mystery with life and death stakes that spans across decades,” the logline reads.
Do previously received the lifetime achievement 2021 German Independence Honorary Tribute Award at the Oldenburg International Film Festival. Born in California to Laos refugees, Do returned to Laos in 2010 for her directorial debut “Chantaly” in 2013. Similar to “The Long Walk,” “Chantaly” utilized horror elements to discuss illness and maternal death. Do was recognized for producing the first Laotian horror film, as well as the first Laotian movie to screen outside Southeast Asia when it showed at the Austin Fantastic Fest.
Do also collaborated with Larsen to co-write a “Creepshow” episode for Shudder’s original series, directed by Greg Nicotero.
The Oldenburg Festival called Do “bold and fearless” for “shaking up her country’s film industry and cementing a place as one of the most exciting new voices in Asian genre cinema,” via The Hollywood Reporter.
Regarding the honor, Do took to Instagram to share her humble disbelief, writing, “How is it that being a belligerent punk ended up with me as a filmmaker being awarded for independent vision and spirit? Apparently, thats how #oldenburgfilmfestival likes ’em… A little salt of the earth mixed with a bit of rock and roll.”
Do added, “I am so incredibly floored and honored. Thank you to @filmfestoldenburg for this fucking amazing acknowledgement.”
“The Long Walk” premieres in theaters February 18 from Yellow Veil and will be available digital and on demand starting March 1.