Apichatpong Weerasethakul in person for introduction on May 4

In Jacques Tourneur’s second collaboration with producer Val Lewton, a Canadian nurse working on an island in the West Indies turns to voodoo with the hope of curing her patient. Loosely based on Charlotte Brontë’s Jane EyreI Walked with a Zombie features a quite peculiar kind of romance and is perhaps Tourneur’s most poetic film: a haunting, audacious studio picture that presents a complex meditation on colonialism and our relationship with the past, as seen here through the living’s uncanny connection to the dead.

For me, this is one of the most beautiful black-and-white films ever made. A white lady in a trance walks through the sugar plantation, drawn by the sound of the drum and the sea waves. Every time I see it, I see something different: a dream of independence, a primitive science fiction, and a fear of others.

I also enjoy the film’s silent moments. Previously, they did not need to fill in all of the sound components in order to captivate the audience. —Apichatpong Weerasethakul