Defining A Family through Hours of Ours (2023)

— News
FFD 2023

Bioskop Sonobudoyo were filled to the brim with enthusiasm from the audience as the screening of the last slot began. Through Hours of Ours (Komtouch Napattaloong, 2023), the audience were taken on a journey of a young Sudan family who seeked refuge from their own country and stumbled upon Napattaloong in Thailand. This unexpected encounter fueled Napattaloong’s fire to rediscover what it means to be a family. After the screening was over, the audience were given the chance for a Q&A session with Napattaloong, who had already joined the audience.

Napattaloong answered several questions on the process of unraveling the storyline and the visual approach in Hours of Ours (2023) with the help of Gerry Junus, the coordinator of FFD 2023’s Competition Program. Napattaloong explained that he began documenting in 2017 until it was edited and finally screened for the first time at Visions du Réel 2023 for the International Feature Film Competition Program. “After 6 long years of on and off shooting, this film is finally released. I discovered and understood more complex emotions throughout the process. I began to understand the fear and intimacy of the family dynamic.”, Napattaloong explained.

Napattaloong went through the process of learning and adapting with the place he grew up in after he moved back and forth between USA and Thailand. When he went back to Thailand in 2016, he felt anxious and start questioning his identity. He then met with Ibrahim’s family and was surprised to learn that Ibrahim’s children speak Thai. This became Napattaloong’s turning point to finally understand how space, home, and family heavily influences the process of moving. He added, “When I first met their children, I was really surprised to find that they speak better Thai than I do. After that, I thought of how and what they went through will always require their own efforts to adapt.”

The Q&A session ends with Napattaloong’s explanation on the artistic choice and approach that he used in Hours of Ours (2023). “I didn’t even know the direction this film would take when it first happened, which was inconvenient for my editor. The reason was because I focused so much on this family that it didn’t really register to me that I needed to actually shoot the film.” This is tied to how he used home video for the film’s visuals, in hopes that it would solidify the intention of weaving the tale of home and family.

Hours of Ours (2023) is in competition for International Feature-Length Competition FFD 2023 and will be screened once again on Thursday, December 7th 2023 at Gedung ex Bioskop Permata, Yogyakarta.

Covered by Vanis on December 4th, 2023.