The Importance of Being MLABRI

“MLABRI marry MLABRI”. But what will young IDang do, when there are no Mlabri girls around? Chalat is leaving for boarding school. His mother asks: will he ever come back? As a child Chuwit roamed the jungles with his parents. He knows Mlabri life is about to change radically, and he wishes to have a say, but will he get a chance? The Importance of Being Mlabri is a film about the Mlabri, told by themselves in their own language. There are 320 Mlabri people left on this planet. This is a decisive moment in Mlabri history. One generation ago they came out of the jungle in Northern Thailand. The Mlabri used to be hunters and gatherers. For the moment they scrape out a meagre existence at the bottom of society working as day-labourers. Right now they all face the crucial question: How does one adapt to a world full of Outsiders without disappearing?

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Year of Release



59 minutes


Betacam, Color


Janus Billeskov Jansen

Born 1951. Janus Billeskov Jansen entered the Danish film industry in 1970. He has edited a large number of internationally acknowledged feature films and documentaries, and directed numerous Danish documentaries. Teaches editing and narratology at The National Film School of Denmark since 1979. Janus has cooperated with most of the influential Danish directors in the past 30 years; Host significant is the lifelong creative relationship with the Academy Award winning director Bille August.