24 August 2023

Pink Flamingos

Pink Flamingos

The Thai Film Archive at Salaya will show the classic exploitation film Pink Flamingos on 17th September. Directed by John Waters, Pink Flamingos is a masterpiece of bad taste. On its first release, it was compared to Luis Buñuel’s notorious silent film Un chien andalou (‘an Andalusian dog’). Fifty years later, it remains the ultimate example of transgressive cinema.

Pink Flamingos was previously shown in Bangkok in 2017, without a censors’ rating. But for next month’s screening, it was submitted to the censors and, surprisingly, rated ‘20’ without cuts. This sets a new precedent, as Pink Flamingos features hardcore content—admittedly, it’s more parody than pornography—that has never been passed by the Thai censors before. (Thai Cinema Uncensored examines the history of sex in Thai films.)

23 August 2023

Songs of Angry People

Uruphong Raksasad’s documentary Songs of Angry People will have its world premiere at the DMZ International Documentary Film Festival in South Korea next month. The film, screening on 15th and 17th September, is a record of the protest movement that began in 2020, when students campaigned for reform of the monarchy and a return to democracy.

Songs of Angry People is only the second feature-length documentary covering the protests, after Supong Jitmuang’s Mob 2020–2021. Uruphong’s previous films include Agrarian Utopia (สวรรค์บ้านนา) and Worship (บูชา). The festival runs from 14th to 21st September, with screenings taking place near the demilitarised zone on the border with North Korea.

Thunska Pansittivorakul’s latest documentary, Damnatio Memoriae (ไม่พึงปรารถนา)—screening on 17th, 19th, and 20th September—will also have its world premiere at the festival. Thunska’s previous films include Danse Macabre (มรณสติ), Avalon (แดนศักดิ์สิทธิ์), Santikhiri Sonata (สันติคีรี โซนาตา), Homogeneous, Empty Time (สุญกาล), Supernatural (เหนือธรรมชาติ), The Terrorists (ผู้ก่อการร้าย), Reincarnate (จุติ), and This Area is Under Quarantine (บริเวณนี้อยู่ภายใต้การกักกัน).

20 August 2023

Please... See Us

Please... See Us

Chaweng Chaiyawan’s powerful short film Please... See Us (หว่างีมอละ) will be shown tonight in an outdoor screening at the Tha Phae Gate in Chiang Mai, as part of an all-day, all-night arts festival running for twenty-four hours. The event, organised by Neo Lanna, is raising awareness of a petition for a new, more democratic constitution.

The current charter was drafted by the military junta, and rewriting it was one of the manifesto policies of this year’s election winners, Move Forward. But they have since been relegated to the opposition by runner-up Pheu Thai, and Pheu Thai’s willingness to form a coalition with military parties such as United Thai Nation has raised doubts about the chances of the constitution being completely rewritten.

Please... See Us includes an extended sequence in which a real pig is killed and dismembered, the helpless animal being a metaphor for the plight of ethnic minorities in Thailand. This transgressive film was previously shown at Wildtype 2021, Signes de Nuit (‘signs of the night’), and the 25th Thai Short Film and Video Festival.

Don’t Expect Anything!

The entire cast of a new film have been arrested by the Burmese military government, on charges of blasphemy and insulting the dignity of the monkhood. Thirteen actors—including a twelve-year-old girl—and the film’s Swiss director, Didier Nusbaumer, were arrested on 8th August.

The feature-length drama Don’t Expect Anything! (ဘာမှမမျှော်လင့်ပါနဲ့) was uploaded to YouTube on 24th July, and remains online despite the arrests. It was produced by Dhamma Pictures, a non-profit organisation that promotes Buddhist teachings.

Representation of Buddhist monks is also a highly sensitive issue in the Thai film industry, most recently leading to censorship of the horror film Hoon Payon (หุ่นพยนต์). Thai Cinema Uncensored includes a complete history of the various controversies surrounding the depiction of Buddhist monks on film.

Barry Lyndon

Barry Lyndon

Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon will be shown at Chulalongkorn University next week. The screening, organised by Nitade Movie Club, will be at the Faculty of Communication Arts. The film depicts the rise and fall of a rogue who inveigles his way into high society before being cast out in disgrace—coincidentally, it will be shown on 22nd August, the day that former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra is planning to return to Thailand.

There has been a revival of critical interest in Barry Lyndon over the last decade, with three documentaries on the making of the film: the radio programme Castles, Candles, and Kubrick; an episode of the TV programme Hollywood in Éirinn; and Making Barry Lyndon on the Criterion blu-ray. There is also a book on the film, The Making of a Masterpiece, by Alison Castle.

16 August 2023

The 100 Best Movies of the Past Ten Decades

The 100 Best Movies of the Past Ten Decades

The latest issue of Time magazine (vol. 202, no. 5), dated 14th August, features a list of the 100 greatest films of the past century. Stephanie Zacharek, one of Time’s film critics, compiled The 100 Best Movies of the Past Ten Decades: ten films from each decade, from the 1920s to the 2010s, in chronological order.

As Zacharek readily admits, the list is “marked by what some will see as glaring omissions,” such as Tokyo Story (東京物語), Citizen Kane, Casablanca, and The Godfather. Stanley Kubrick’s films are nowhere to be found. In fact, when compared to Dateline Bangkok’s list of the 100 greatest films, only a quarter of the entries are common to both lists.

Time published its first greatest-films list in 2005, compiled by Richard Corliss and Richard Schickel. From that selection of 100 titles, Corliss and Schickel chose Nine Great Movies from Nine Decades—none of which are included in Zacharek’s list.

08 August 2023

Red Poetry

Supamok Silarak’s film Red Poetry (ความกวีสีแดง) will be shown in Chiang Mai this weekend, at a rooftop screening organised by Untitled for Film. The feature-length documentary profiles the activities of performance artist Vitthaya Klangnil, who formed the group Artn’t with fellow student Yotsunthon Ruttapradit. A shorter version—Red Poetry: Verse 1 (เราไป ไหน ได้)—was shown last year at Wildtype 2022.

The documentary, filmed in 2021, shows the level of endurance and commitment Vitthaya invests in his protest art. A durational performance—sitting in front of Chiang Mai’s Tha Pae Gate for nine full days—led to his collapse from exhaustion. In another action, he climbed onto Chiang Mai University’s main entrance, repeatedly slapped himself in the face, and jumped into a pond below. When he reported to the police to answer charges of sedition, he vomited blue paint outside the police station. The film ends with Vitthaya carving “112” into his chest, in protest at the lèse-majesté (article 112) charges he faced after he exhibited a modified version of the Thai flag in 2021.

Red Poetry will be screened on 13th August at Chiang Mai University’s Department of Media Arts and Design, followed by a post-screening discussion with the director. This is its third under-the-radar screening in Chiang Mai, the city in which it was filmed: it was previously shown at Chiang Mai University Art Center and at Suan Anya. There are currently no plans to show it in Bangkok, where it might attract unwanted attention. It would almost certainly be cut or banned if submitted to the censors, not least because in one sequence, during the Tha Pae Gate performance, Vitthaya and a royalist passerby debate the hypothetical scenario of Thailand as a republic.

04 August 2023

The Edge of Daybreak

Chiang Mai Film Festival

Taiki Sakpisit’s The Edge of Daybreak (พญาโศกพิโยคค่ำ) will be shown in both Chiang Mai and Songkhla later this month, as part of the Chiang Mai Film Festival and Pak Taii Design Week’s Singorama programme. Like Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (ลุงบุญมีระลึกชาติ) and Jakrawal Nilthamrong’s Anatomy of Time (เวลา), The Edge of Daybreak shows the twilight years of a former soldier who fought against the Communist insurgency. It begins with a flashback to that era, narrated by the old man: “I was leading my unit into the woods to catch the students.”

In all three films, the ex-soldiers are largely bedridden, and it’s implied that their lingering illnesses are the result of karma. In The Edge of Daybreak, the former general’s family believe that they are cursed and, as if to confirm this, the exquisite black-and-white camerawork lingers on images of decay, such as rotting food and their crumbling home. The violent legacy of the anti-Communist purge is also a curse on the country itself, and Taiki’s film offers a reckoning with Thailand’s past and a commentary on its continuing military rule.


The Edge of Daybreak will be shown at Thailand Creative and Design Center’s Chiang Mai branch on 11th August, and at the Songkhla Art Center on 19th August. The Chiang Mai Film Festival runs from 8th to 12th August. It also includes Vichart Somkaew’s Cremation Ceremony (ประวัติย่อของบางสิ่งที่หายไป) on 11th August; and Koraphat Cheeradit’s Yesterday Is Another Day and Weerapat Sakolvaree’s Nostalgia, both screening on 12th August. Pak Taii Design Week runs from 12th to 20th August.

Yesterday Is Another Day and Nostalgia were both previously shown as part of The Political Wanderer, a programme of short films at Silpakorn University. Nostalgia has also been shown at Wildtype 2022, Future Fest 2023, and the 26th Thai Short Film and Video Festival.

03 August 2023

The Cost of Freedom

The Cost of Freedom Chain Film Festival

A new short film about student activist Panusaya Sithjirawattanakul will have its premiere in New York this weekend. The Cost of Freedom documents Panusaya’s protests calling for reform of the monarchy and the abolition of the lèse-majesté law (article 112 of the criminal code). The film’s poster shows “112” carved into Panusaya’s arm, and a similar photograph appears in Karntachat Raungratanaamporn’s photobook End in This Generation.

The Cost of Freedom, directed by Primrin Puarat and Onarisa Sapsompong, will be shown at the Chain Theatre on 6th August, as part of the Chain Film Festival. (The festival runs from 4th to 13th August.) Panusaya was also the subject of The Commoner’s single รุ้ง (‘rainbow’), and her portrait has been painted by Jirapatt Aungsumalee and Tawan Wattuya.

30 July 2023

The Murderer

The Murderer

Wisit Sasanatieng’s The Murderer (เมอร์เด้อเหรอ ฆาตกรรมอิหยังวะ) is his second film made for Netflix, after The Whole Truth (ปริศนารูหลอน). With The Murderer, he moves away from supernatural horror—his most consistent subject matter, in films such as Reside (สิงสู่), Senior (รุ่นพี่), and The Unseeable (เปนชู้กับผี)—and delivers his first horror-comedy (a Thai genre hybrid popularised by Yuthlert Sippapak’s Buppah Rahtree/บุปผาราตรี franchise).

The film’s greatest impact comes from its colour grading, a welcome return to the oversaturated palettes of Wisit’s Tears of the Black Tiger (ฟ้าทะลายโจร) and Citizen Dog (หมานคร). It also makes some pointed observations on xenophobia in Thai society: the Western protagonist, visiting his bigoted inlaws, is discriminated against throughout the entire film. Comedian Mum Jokmok gives a great performance as a frustrated cop; like the Joker in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, he gives conflicting explanations for the origin of his facial scar.

The Murderer is structured like Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon (羅生門), with each surviving character narrating their own unreliable account of how a sequence of improbable killings took place, dramatised in a series of flashbacks. The moral of the tale is spoon-fed to the audience in the final moments: “You can’t just blindly believe what people say. Pay no attention to all the noise out there. Make up your own mind.”

27 July 2023

Democracy after Death:
The Tragedy of Uncle Nuamthong Praiwan

There will be a rare screening of Neti Wichiansaen’s film Democracy after Death: The Tragedy of Uncle Nuamthong Praiwan (ประชาธิปไตยหลังความตาย เรื่องเศร้าของลุงนวมทอง) this evening. The rooftop screening, at Chiang Mai University’s Department of Media Arts and Design, was organised by Untitled for Film. (Democracy after Death was also shown in Chiang Mai last year.)

Democracy after Death’s voiceover narration is addressed to Nuamthong Praiwan, a pro-democracy protester who committed suicide in 2006. Nuamthong was also the subject of Prap Boonpan’s short film Letter from the Silence (จดหมายจากความเงียบ) and Rap Against Dictatorship’s music video 16 ปีแล้วไอ้สัส (‘it’s been 16 years, ai sat’).

26 July 2023

Yesterday Is Another Day

Yesterday Is Another Day

Koraphat Cheeradit’s short film Yesterday Is Another Day is being shown today as part of The Political Wanderer, a programme of short films at Silpakorn University’s Faculty of Information and Communication Technology. (The programme also includes Weerapat Sakolvaree’s Nostalgia.)

In Yesterday Is Another Day, a high school student plays hooky and meets his girlfriend in a woodland. They take a walk, and joke about their future together, seemingly without a care in the world. But there are ominous signs of impending threats: they find a discarded handgun, and Koraphat inserts shots of a JCB digging up the forest.

Eventually, we learn that the student is being charged with lèse-majesté, for sharing Facebook posts. His court hearing is the following day, and he is likely to be jailed. (The film doesn’t state directly that he’s facing royal defamation charges, though it’s clear from the couple’s conversation: he explains that the sentence is three years per offence, which is the minimum jail term for lèse-majesté.)

Yesterday Is Another Day

The prospect of criminal charges for posting on social media is a reality for hundreds of people in Thailand today, many of whom are students. As the boy in Koraphat’s film says to his girlfriend, he has to face changing from “being a teenager to being a prisoner.” Recent student protests have called for the abolition of the lèse-majesté law, and the Move Forward Party’s manifesto includes a proposal to amend it, though this faced overwhelming opposition in parliament.

Yesterday Is Another Day is a powerful and moving reminder of the severe consequences of lèse-majesté, and what it must feel like to be criminalised at a young age for expressing opinions online. It’s a less angry film than Koraphat’s Tomorrow I Fuck with Yesterday Now! (ฉันแต่งงานกับปัจจุบัน ช่วยตัวเองด้วยเมื่อวาน และมีเพศสัมพันธ์กับวันพรุ่งนี้), though the two films do have something in common: their titles are both puns on ‘yesterday’ and ‘tomorrow’. (Yesterday Is Another Day refers to ‘tomorrow is another day’, popularised by Gone with the Wind).

23 July 2023

Oppenheimer (IMAX Laser)


Christopher Nolan’s five most recent films—Tenet, Interstellar, Dunkirk, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises—were all shown in IMAX 70mm on the full-size Krungrsi IMAX screen at Bangkok’s Paragon Cineplex. But Paragon’s IMAX 70mm projector was removed after it broke down during screenings of Tenet, and a laser projector was installed last year. A single laser projector is not capable of filling the 1.43:1 IMAX screen, so Nolan’s new film Oppenheimer alternates between 2.2:1 and 1.9:1 aspect ratios for its IMAX screenings at Paragon.

Regardless of the screening format, Oppenheimer is one of Nolan’s best films, with an impressive script that doesn’t dumb down its science or its politics. A dense biopic unfolding in non-chronological, staccato flashbacks, it orients the viewer with linear sequences shot in black-and-white (as in Memento). The camera often lingers on Cillian Murphy’s face, especially his piercing blue eyes, though there are also dazzling, abstract shots (created without resorting to CGI) of subatomic particles and vast explosions.

04 July 2023

Kings of the Road

Kings of the Road

The classic Kings of the Road (Im Lauf der Zeit) is showing at Doc Club and Pub in Bangkok this month. An early film by German new wave (das neue Kino) pioneer Wim Wenders, it was previously screened at a Wenders retrospective at the Thai Film Archive in 2016.

Kings of the Road will be shown on 6th, 7th, 10th, 11th, 14th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 20th, 23rd, 25th, and 26th July; and 1st, 9th, and 22nd August. On 8th July, it’s being shown as part of a triple bill along with two other Wenders titles, which have become known as his road movie trilogy.

30 June 2023

From Forest to City

From Forest to City

Chatchawal Thongjun’s powerful short film From Forest to City (อรัญนคร) begins with an epigraph by Kittivuddho Bhikku, an influential Buddhist monk: “Killing a communist is not a sin.” This infamous quote gave nationalist paramilitary groups a licence to kill and, a few months later, they invaded Thammasat University’s campus and lynched dozens of students. The monk’s words—taken from an interview he gave to จัตุรัส (‘square’) magazine on 29th June 1976—also appear in Thunska Pansittivorakul’s documentary The Terrorists (ผู้ก่อการร้าย) and Manussak Dokmai’s short film Don’t Forget Me (อย่าลืมฉัน), and artist Sutee Kunavichayanont rendered the quotation as calligram.

From Forest to City is a black-and-white drama in three parts, narrated by a woman who survived the Thammasat massacre and joined the Communist insurgency. In the first part, smoke billowing from an oil drum signifies the hundreds of suspected Communists who were, as Anocha Suwichakornpong’s film By the Time It Gets Dark (ดาวคะนอง) explains, “set on fire in oil barrels.” In part two, comparing 1976 to the present day, the narrator regrets that Thailand hasn’t changed. Society remains irreconcilably divided, between student protesters and the conservative establishment.

Although the film is black-and-white, there are two flashes of colour: a red folding chair, and a yellow t-shirt. Thanks to Neal Ulevich’s famous photograph of a man beating a corpse with a folding chair, this single item of furniture has come to symbolise the entire Thammasat massacre. The yellow t-shirt in an otherwise black-and-white shot recalls Chai Chaiyachit and Chisanucha Kongwailap’s short film Re-presentation (ผีมะขาม ไพร่ฟ้า ประชาธิปไตย ในคืนที่ลมพัดหวน), in which the yellow t-shirts worn by monarchists are the only objects shown in colour.

From Forest to City Re-presentation

In part three, From Forest to City switches gear with a documentary montage of various dramatic episodes from modern Thai history: the Thammasat massacre, armoured personnel carriers demolishing red-shirt protest camps, riot police firing water cannon at students in Siam Square, and Arnon Nampa’s Harry Potter-themed protest. In an echo of Prap Boonpan’s sadly prophetic short film The Bangkok Bourgeois Party (ความลักลั่นของงานรื่นเริง), a yellow-shirt mob is seen attacking a pro-reform protester.

The montage of news footage is set incongruously to รักกันไว้เถิด (‘let’s love each other’), a Cold War propaganda song whose lyrics call for national unity. This technique—the ironic juxtaposition of uplifting music and images of state violence—has been used in several documentaries, including The Terrorists, This Area Is Under Quarantine (บริเวณนี้อยู่ภายใต้การกักกัน; also from Thunska), and บันทึกสีดำ (‘black record’).

20 June 2023

Cigar Aficionado

Cigar Aficionado

This month’s issue of Cigar Aficionado magazine (vol. 31, no. 4) is dedicated to classic movies, and includes a poll of readers’ favourite films. The magazine surveyed “a random group of readers”—presumably a small sample of subscribers—25% of whom voted for The Godfather. (The other films in the top ten list received less than 10% each.)

Cigar Aficionado has an older, male readership, and the magazine proclaimed The Godfather “the Greatest Film Ever Made” in a cover story last year, so the poll result was fairly predictable. Garrett Rutledge conducted the poll and, as he admits in the magazine, “we can’t say we’re all that surprised.”

Cigar Aficionado readers’ top ten films are as follows:

1. The Godfather
2. Casablanca
3. GoodFellas
4. The Shawshank Redemption / The Sting
6. Gladiator / Tombstone
8. The Godfather Part II / Heat / The Longest Day

16 June 2023

The Political Wanderer

The Political Wanderer

Weerapat Sakolvaree’s Nostalgia and Koraphat Cheeradit’s Yesterday Is Another Day will be screened next month as part of The Political Wanderer, a programme of short films at Silpakorn University’s Faculty of Information and Communication Technology. The screening, at Silpakorn’s Muang Thong Thani campus, will take place on 26th July. Nostalgia was previously shown at Future Fest 2023, the 26th Thai Short Film and Video Festival, and Wildtype 2022. Weerapat is also the director of Zombie Citizens.

15 June 2023

Cremation Ceremony

Cremation Ceremony

The faces of three politicians stare impassively at the viewer. The three men—Anutin Charnvirakul, Minister of Public Health; Abhisit Vejjajiva, former prime minister; and coup leader Prayut Chan-o-cha—are responsible for three tragic injustices. Anutin oversaw the Thai government’s sluggish response to the coronavirus pandemic. Abhisit authorised the shooting of red-shirt protesters in 2010. Prayut’s government has revived lèse-majesté prosecutions, and dissidents who fled overseas have disappeared.

In his short film Cremation Ceremony (ประวัติย่อของบางสิ่งที่หายไป), Vichart Somkaew sets fire to photographs of the three men, their faces distorting as the photographic paper burns. There is no sound except the crackling of the flame. This symbolic ritual is a reminder of the deaths of Covid victims, red-shirt protesters, and political dissidents, though it’s also a metaphorical act of retribution, as the three politicians have faced no consequences for their actions. (Anutin is a billionaire, Abhisit was cleared of all charges, and Prayut acts with total impunity.)

While the three portraits burn slowly, captions mourn the forgotten victims: red-shirts shot while sheltering in Wat Pathum Wanaram, political prisoners charged under article 112, and—most heartbreakingly—victims of the coronavirus. Arnon Nampa’s speech calling for reform of the monarchy is also summarised in the captions, and the film ends on an optimistic note: a final caption explains that pro-democracy parties “emerged victorious” in last month’s election. (Of course, the democratic coalition still faces plenty of hurdles before it can form a government.)

Cremation Ceremony’s Thai title is similar to that of Chulayarnnon Siriphol’s short film A Brief History of Memory (ประวัติศาสตร์ขนาดย่อของความทรงจำ), which also mourned the victims of political violence. The short film New Abnormal (ผิดปกติใหม่) also criticised the government’s flawed Covid response. The documentaries Democracy after Death (ประชาธิปไตยหลังความตาย) and The Terrorists (ผู้ก่อการร้าย) also held Abhisit culpable for the 2010 massacre. The exhibition A Minor History (ประวัติศาสตร์กระจ้อยร่อย) also highlighted the fate of exiled dissidents.

Cremation Ceremony will be shown at the AEY Space gallery in Songkla on 14th July and at Lorem Ipsum in Hat Yai on the following day. It will then be screened at the University of Phayao on 22nd August, as part of a programme organised by their Innovative Learning Institute.

14 June 2023

Apocalypse Now:
The Lost Photo Archive

Apoclaypse Now: The Lost Photo Archive

Photojournalist Chas Gerretsen’s picture of Augusto Pinochet, posing in sunglasses after launching a coup in Chile, is one of the most iconic political portraits. Gerretsen is also known for his work as a stills photographer on the set of Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, and his images of that film appear in Apocalypse Now: The Lost Photo Archive. (The book’s subtitle is a publisher’s embellishment, as Gerretsen’s archive is held at the Nederlands Fotomuseum, as seen in the documentary short Dutch Angle: Chas Gerretsen and Apocalypse Now.)

Peter Cowie’s Apocalypse Now: The Book is the definitive guide to the making of the film, though its illustrations look no better than photocopies. The Lost Photo Archive, with its full-page, colour images, is an excellent visual companion to Cowie’s book. Coppola provided a rather ambivalent blurb for The Lost Photo Archive, disputing some of Gerretsen’s recollections—“I don’t remember many of the things talked about in this text quite in the same way”—but he also praised “Chas’s stunning photos”.

Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse, one of the greatest behind-the-scenes films ever made, documents the making of Coppola’s masterpiece. The work of another stills photographer, Steve Schapiro, appears in two books published by Taschen: Taxi Driver and The Godfather Family Album. Hollywood Movie Stills, by Joel W. Finler, is a history of stills photography.

01 June 2023

Zombie Citizens

Zombie Citizens

Weerapat Sakolvaree’s short documentary Zombie Citizens, like his earlier film Nostalgia, links the recent student protest movement with Thailand’s violent political history. Zombie Citizens begins with captions explaining that a Free Youth march on 7th August 2021 was rerouted after roads leading to the Grand Palace were blocked with shipping containers. Weerapat also filmed at Thammasat University on 6th October 2021, the 45th anniversary of a massacre that took place on the campus in 1976.

When Free Youth were denied entry to the Grand Palace grounds, they marched instead to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s residence, and riot police fired rubber bullets to disperse them. Zombie Citizens doesn’t document the violent clashes between protesters and police; instead, the film is eerily quiet, as the shipping containers block any traffic and the roads are almost deserted. The title hints at the state’s attitude towards the protesters, as shipping containers were also used to prevent zombie attacks in World War Z.

Shots of the Royal Hotel evoke another violent episode, the 1992 ‘Black May’ massacre, when the hotel lobby was used as a makeshift field hospital. The hotel and the university campus have become what Dutch artist Armando called ‘guilty landscapes’, bearing silent witness to past violence. Taiki Sakpisit’s short film A Ripe Volcano (ภูเขาไฟพิโรธ) and Thunska Pansittivorakul’s documentary Homogeneous, Empty Time (สุญกาล) also include sequences filmed at the Royal Hotel, again alluding to ‘Black May’.

A few minutes before it finishes, Zombie Citizens switches into reverse. The film runs backwards—a metaphor for the regressive, cyclical nature of Thai politics?—and View from the Bus Tour’s single Sun Rises When Day Breaks (ลิ่วล้อ) plays on the soundtrack. (The song was released on the 45th anniversary of the Thammasat massacre.)

Nostalgia ended with a shot of the Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall seen from behind iron railings, after the building was closed to the public by royal decree. Similarly, Zombie Citizens shows Sanam Luang through barbed wire and the Grand Palace glimpsed from behind shipping containers. The state has battened down the hatches, and this is perhaps the calm before the storm.