24 August 2023

๕๐ ปี ๑๔ ตุลา
(‘50 years of 14th Oct.’)

Sunset at Chaophraya II

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the 14th October 1973 protest, when half a million people gathered at Democracy Monument in Bangkok calling for an end to Thanom Kittikachorn’s military dictatorship. After King Rama IX intervened, Thanom fled into exile, though seventy-seven protesters were shot dead by the army. A screening programme at the Thai Film Archive in Salaya, ๕๐ ปี ๑๔ ตุลา (‘50 years of 14th Oct.’), will commemorate the anniversary next month.

The season includes The Moonhunter (14 ตุลา สงครามประชาชน), a prestigious biopic of protest leader Seksan Prasertkul, screening in 35mm. Sunset at Chaophraya II (คู่กรรม ภาค ๒) is overshadowed by The Moonhunter but is arguably a better film, ending with a realistic and violent recreation of the 1973 massacre. Angel (เทพธิดาโรงแรม) features documentary footage of the protest intercut with a social realist narrative. Tongpan (ทองปาน) was produced in the brief period of political freedom after the events of 1973.

The Moonhunter will be shown on 15th and 19th October, Sunset at Chaophraya II on 13th and 25th October, Angel on 13th and 24th October, and Tongpan on 21st October. Tongpan will be screened in 16mm. (It has been shown at the Film Archive before, and at Noir Row Art Space, Cinema Oasis, and the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre.)

The programme also includes two documentaries: the feature-length อนุทินวีรชน 14 ตุลาคม (‘diary of 14th October heroes’), showing on 14th October; and the short film วันมหาวิปโยค (‘the tragic day’), on 15th October. อนุทินวีรชน 14 ตุลาคม features unique colour and black-and-white footage of the massacre, while วันมหาวิปโยค includes colour footage of the atmosphere among the protesters.

Thai Cinema Uncensored includes a complete survey of films related to 14th October 1973 and its aftermath. Thai Film Archive director Chalida Uabumrungrit analysed the two documentaries in the Thai Film Journal (วารสารหนังไทย, vol. 18). The Colors of October (สีสันแห่งเดือนตุลา) exhibition at g23 in Bangkok also marks the fiftieth anniversary of the event.

1 comment(s):

Matthew Hunt said...

Thai Film Archive: https://www.fapot.or.th/main/cinema/program/108

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