Field Daze

Extra Virgin

In reality, subsistence hell
But the high-definition images look heavenly

At long last, the affordable handycam is helping to document unseen corners of Asia — and define a new generation of filmmakers. First there's Beijing's Zhao Liang, who used a decade of handheld shooting to create Petition, which chronicles the Kafkaesque torment of Chinese citizens seeking official redress for endlessly unanswered grievances. Then there's Burma VJ, the Danish director Anders Østergaard's dazzling pastiche — marred at times by dull dramatic reconstructions — of material shot at great risk by underground videographers from Burma's democracy movement.

Now comes the turn of Thailand's...

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