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Year: 1961

Thai title: แพรดำ
English title: Black Silk

Rating: 5/5
Director: Ratana Pestonji

Main actor:
Main actress:

Seni is a manager of a nightclub. Two men, Sin and Wan, come to visit him and ask him to pay back his debts but he has no money! He refuses to pay and threatening words are exchanged. Young man Tom is used by Seni as odd job man. Phrae, a young widow, is working on clothes confection. She has a baby. Her surname is “Phrae dam” (แพรดำ) as she is mourning for two years. Tom wants to bring happiness back to her but she always refuses to go out with him arguing it is still too early. Sema, Seni’s twin brother (ลูกแฟด), just dies of malaria. Seni decides to bury the corpse there and not bring it back to Bangkok. He has a hidden plan. Since years Seni wishes to buy Wan's land but knows Wan will never sell to him due to the debt issue. Seni asks Tom to bring Phrae in order that she pretends to be the buyer. Things turn wrong as Phrae is not aware of the role she is expected to play and Wan refuses to sell. Seni strangles Wan and Tom shots Sin. Seni disguises this as a crime, i.e. Sin having killed Wan and then fleeing away. Phrae has a temporary loss of consciousness. Tom forgets Phrae's shoes there. Seni then simulates his death in a car crash. A burnt corpse is found in the car. It is in fact Sin's corpse. Seni takes Sema’s identity, his own brother, in order to get life insurance payment following the car accident. Tom shall get a part in order to marry with Phrae. Seni has a reputation of good man but he is in fact evil. He is now the new owner of the nightclub under Sema's identity and gets the money from insurance company. Meanwhile Phrae is always sick. Phrae chases Tom from her house as he is a murderer. Sema is worried that Phrae could disclose the whole truth so he suggests Tom to stop seeing her. He gives Tom 20 000 bath and a car. Sema has a plan to control Phrae without killing her. Her baby is kidnapped. Sema sets up a plan pretending Sin's father has killed Tom and kidnapped Phrae's child as retaliation. If she dares going to police, the baby will die. Lost, she consults the temple abbot who advices her to become a nun (แม่ชี) to find inner peace. She has already been punished by losing her child by mingling with those two crooks. From black clothes (ดำ) she now wears white clothes. Tom still takes care of her child and wishes to find her as the baby is very sick. He finally finds her. She quits the nunnery to look after her baby. Tom dreams of a new life with Phrae and the baby but Phrae refuses as he lied to her so many times. Sema, aware that Tom brings Phrae back home, rushes to find them. To protect Phrae from Sema, Tom has to shoot him. Police catches him and Phrae. The baby dies while they are in jail. A trial happens. Tom denies any wrong doing but the shoes left by Phrae are the missing proof. Tom is sentenced to death. Phrae is spared and becomes a nun again. People may believe Karma (กรรม) doesn’t exist but this movie highlights its impacts and results on people actions. Bad deeds and sinners have been punished. It was a 35mm movie released in 1961. Phrae is played by Ratana Pestonji’s own daughter. It was shot in 35mm so that it could participate to overseas movies competitions such as Berlin 1961 festival. The movie got a photography award in Thai cinema yearly awards ceremony in 1961. This movie has also been registered as National Heritage per the 2016 list released by the Thai Film Archive.

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