Review: ‘Do You Remember Me?’

An earnest yet disjointed docu about a Thai family ravaged and divided by AIDS, hourlong "Do You Remember Me?" feels at once padded and incomplete. Still, sensitive handling of the subject matter should enable this German-financed pic to gain limited exposure in global fest and tube venues.

An earnest yet disjointed docu about a Thai family ravaged and divided by AIDS, hourlong “Do You Remember Me?” feels at once padded and incomplete. Still, sensitive handling of the subject matter should enable this German-financed pic to gain limited exposure in global fest and tube venues.

Helmers Alexander Heuken and Michaela Liechtenstein focus on an AIDS-stricken family forced to leave their small village after being branded as pariahs. Infected by a prostitute, shopkeeper Prasert passed it on to his wife, Amnuy. Their daughter Non Plai has tested HIV positive. (Two other children are, mercifully, uninfected.) They find shelter at a Buddhist monastery that has become “the largest AIDS hospice in the world.” Scenes in which Amnuy bitterly berates dying Prasert have powerful impact. But pic gives short shrift to potentially more interesting elements. Some auds will want to see more of the monastery’s tough-loving abbot, a soft-spoken zealot with radical ideas about safe-sex warnings. He invites soldiers and schoolchildren to tour the hospice — and its crematorium — and displays corpses of AIDS victims as grisly object lessons. Tech values are OK, though music score sounds more appropriate for a thriller or horror pic.

Do You Remember Me?

Germany

Production

A Gizago production. Produced, directed, written by Alexander Heuken, Michaela Liechtenstein.

Crew

Camera (DV color), Heuken, Liechtenstein; editor, Frank Muller; music, Magical Mystery Music. Reviewed on DVD, Houston, Jan. 23, 2006. (At Slamdance Film Festival --competing.) Thai, German dialogue. Running time: 60 MIN.
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