Complicated Verses Resound in ‘The Serpent’s Song’

The Serpent's Song

A music teacher is trying to help his student regain her voice in a secret monastery.

The Serpent’s Song‘ is a 25-minute short film led by actor Kitty Chicha, known for her role as “Nano” in ‘The Girl From Nowhere’. Find out how she portrays a nun who has been through a huge trauma that left her mute.

 

TRIGGER WARNING: Mentions of suicide, self-harm

 

The Serpent's Song

A Mother Superior from a hidden convent is trying to help one of the nuns, who used to love singing and music, to gain her voice again. In an attempt to help her, she asked for the help of a convent in Bangkok and was able to hire a music teacher by the name of Nont. When talking to him about the nun’s situation, Mother Superior gave him a very vague background of what happened to the nun. The young nun just decidedly shut down and never spoke again after an incident that caused her severe trauma. The Mother Superior thought that music might be able to help her. The young nun seemed to have gone through a traumatic grief of what seemed to be a gruesome death. Mother Superior went on to explain to Nont that the young nun only ever mumbles bible verses and some songs but never talks to anyone at all.

The music teacher finally meets the young nun. Introducing himself, he also asked for her name, and as expected, she didn’t speak. She merely looks at her rosary as Nont goes over to the piano to play a piece. The young (still nameless) nun stares ahead as she listens to the music, but memories of being with her female lover, who was also a nun, while they enjoy music together flood her mind. She stares blankly outside. Nont mentions a bible verse and explains it a bit, until the young nun angrily leaves her seat, still wordless.

The next day, Nont still talked about a bible verse about forgiving, which made the young nun angry again.

The Serpent's Song

Nont whispered to her that she knows where “she” is. The young nun finally speaks and talks about forgiving sins, relating to the bible verse Nont talked about last time. She was still staring aimlessly while listening to music. She remembers the corridors of the convent, the calm swaying of the trees, and faint laughter.

Meanwhile, Mother Superior grills another young nun who refuses to admit what she witnessed.

The young nun who has selective mutism remembers her female lover in bits and pieces. She slowly speaks but only uses bible verses, too, as her music teacher still helps her through music. She prays and remembers her lover and some of their memories together. She remembers when they kissed and when they became intimate. She remembers that time when she woke up after spending a night together and she was alone. She looks up to see a cross hanging above her bed and sees her lover getting dressed up to leave. She continues to pray but shouts just as hard because of her painful memories, a shadow of a cross fills her head. She remembers seeing her lover cut herself which led to her death.

The music teacher asks her what her name is, and she finally says her name is Leela, the first conversation she has had that does not involve a bible verse. Leela cries, clutching her rosary.

Once she begins speaking, Nont tells her that his job here is done and she does not need lessons from him anymore.

Mother Superior talks to another young nun, telling her that the convent is not for the weak-minded, implying thatLeelaa is going to be sent to another convent. The young nun was dismissed from their talk when the people from the Bangkok convent called Mother Superior, to which she asked why they gave her such a teacher, but it seemed that she was taken aback by their reply.

The young nun goes to the music room where Nont and Leela had their lessons. But when the young nun tried to play the piano, it was not working at all. The wind shook the tree.

Leela leaves with Nont, as the music teacher leads her to a hole just right by the tree. Both disappear.

 

Writer’s thoughts:

‘The Serpent’s Song’ shows how trauma can lead someone to have physical manifestations in their daily lives. Leela and her lover seemed to have gone through so much, especially being nuns and also being lesbians. The movie showcased a sad story about grief and love, one of which was portrayed perfectly by Kitty Chicha. It was never fully shown or, at least, implied what made her lover take her own life, but we can only assume that their relationship was possibly exposed, or her lover was already suffering from a mental illness. Either way, Leela was the one who suffered. She never truly got over the loss of her lover, but she was still very reliant on her religion, despite showing doubts about her faith throughout the whole ordeal.

Biblically, the serpent lives in the tree where it lured Adam and Eve to eat the apple to gain knowledge. In this story, it seems that the serpent was Nont, the music teacher, especially as he lured the religious nun into the tree and earlier, he also got Leela to speak by telling her that he knows where “she” is, seemingly talking about her lover. So in the end, Leela chooses to go with Nont because she possibly believes that is where her lover is, too. But, this could be merely a personal interpretation.

Still, this short film is a must-watch, especially if you are into indie-like films, plus, it stars the ever-amazing Kitty Chicha.

 

Watch ‘The Serpent’s Song’ here.

 

 

 

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