Wearied by the creative constrictions of junta-run Thailand

22 11 2018

Apichatpong Weerasethakul is one of Thailand’s most important and widely recognized filmmakers. In 2010, he was the winner of the Cannes Palme d’Or for Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives.

Some time ago, he announced that he had decided not to show his then latest film Cemetery of Splendour in Thailand. He said that “doing so would force him to exercise self-censorship or face personal risk.”

Now, back in Thailand to receive an award, Apichatpong has said that the continuing military dictatorship in Thailand means that he “is making his next feature in Colombia…”. He reportedly stated that “he decided not to make the film in Thailand, where political discussion is stifled and he says films can be shut down on the whim of the generals.”

Apichatpong stated that: “To make a movie without addressing the urgent issue of the kingdom’s politics would be to undermine his role as a filmmaker,” adding, “I want to talk about politics, our reality, our lives…”. Of course, under the military junta, he can’t. Sadly, the director now thinks of himself as a “stranger” and a “foreigner” in his own land.


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