02 December 2023

James Dyson v. Daily Mirror:
“The scope for honest comment... was very considerable indeed.”


Daily Mirror

James Dyson has lost his libel case against the Daily Mirror. Dyson had sued the newspaper over a column by Brian Reade published last year describing his business strategy as “screw your country, and if anyone complains, tell them to suck it up.”

The article was published on the Mirror’s website on 28th January last year, and appeared in the following day’s print edition (p. 19). Judge Robert Jay ruled that the column was an expression of personal opinion, and therefore not defamatory: “The scope for honest comment, however wounding and unbalanced, was very considerable indeed.”

Jay became famous as counsel to the 2011–2012 Leveson Inquiry into media ethics and practices, when his questioning of witnesses was televised. A year ago, Dyson lost another libel case, against Channel 4 and ITN.

I’m Starving Artbook:
Sweets and Politics


I'm Starving Artbook

Comic artist Kwanrapee’s I’m Starving Artbook: Sweets and Politics (เดี๊ยนหิว!!! Artbook: ขนมหวานและการเมือง), published earlier this year, is a record of the stickers, fleurons, and illustrations she created between 2019 and 2022. This was a period of protest against Thailand’s military government, and the book’s title has a clever double meaning: “If this artbook accurately depicts my hunger, then I also hunger for freedom and democracy.” (Similarly, on the cover of the fourth edition of Chris Baker and Pasuk Phongpaichit’s A History of Thailand is Thienchai Nokngam’s painting Seafood, which also makes “a comparison between democracy and food... Everyone likes eating deep-sea fish and deep-sea shellfish, in the same way they want to have a deep, full-blown version of democracy.”)

It Is What It Is


It Is What It Is

Chatchawal Thongjun’s From Forest to City (อรัญนคร), one of the best Thai short films of the year, will be shown at Bangkok University’s School of Digital Media and Cinematic Arts as part of the It Is What It Is (ชีวิตก็เท่านี้) programme. The event, on 4th December, is the third screening in the Jubchaii (ถูกจับฉาย) series. Chatchawal’s film will also be shown online on 6th December in the Short Film Marathon (หนังสั้นมาราธอน).

From Forest to City is a black-and-white drama, though it has two flashes of colour: a red folding chair (symbolising the 1976 Thammasat University massacre), and a yellow t-shirt (as worn by anti-democratic People’s Alliance for Democracy supporters). In its final act, the film features a montage of footage from Thailand’s polarised political history, set ironically to รักกันไว้เถิด (‘let’s love each other’), a Cold War propaganda song whose lyrics call for national unity.

01 December 2023

Chiang Mai Film Festival 2023 Part II


Chiang Mai Film Festival 2023

Highlights from this year’s Chiang Mai Film Festival will be shown tomorrow on the rooftop of the city’s Mantana Building. Vichart Somkaew’s Cremation Ceremony (ประวัติย่อของบางสิ่งที่หายไป), Koraphat Cheeradit’s Yesterday Is Another Day, and Weerapat Sakolvaree’s Nostalgia are all included in the Chiang Mai Film Festival 2023 Part II programme.

Cremation Ceremony was also shown recently at Doc Club and Pub in Bangkok, and at Wildtype 2023. Yesterday Is Another Day has been screened at Silpakorn University. Both films were part of this year’s Short Film Marathon (หนังสั้นมาราธอน). Nostalgia has previously been shown at Bangkok University, Future Fest 2023, Wildtype 2022, and the 26th Thai Short Film and Video Festival (เทศกาลภาพยนตร์สั้นครั้งที่ 26).

Spotlight by BKK Critics


Spotlight by BKK Critics

This month, Doc Club and Pub in Bangkok will showcase a series of critically-acclaimed short films, all of which have won Bangkok Critics Assembly awards. The event is in two stages, with the first three titles being shown on 3rd–6th December and the final three on 7th–21st December. The Spotlight by BKK Critics season concludes with Chaweng Chaiyawan’s Please... See Us (หว่างีมอละ), followed by a Q&A with its director.

Chaweng’s film ends with an extended sequence in which a pig is killed and dismembered, the helpless animal being a tragic metaphor for the plight of ethnic minorities in Thailand. This transgressive film had an outdoor screening in Chiang Mai earlier this year, and was previously shown at Wildtype 2021, Signes de Nuit (‘signs of the night’), and the 25th Thai Short Film and Video Festival (เทศกาลภาพยนตร์สั้นครั้งที่ 25).

26 November 2023

The Fabulist:
A Novel


The Fabulist

Uthis Haemamool’s novel จุติ was published in English translation this year as The Fabulist: A Novel. The book describes the protest movement that emerged after the 2006 coup as a “new democratic spirit, which saw citizens as the rightful owners of the country, rather than the few high-ranking officers and aristocrats who governed as though they knew what the majority needed or didn’t need.”

These pro-democracy red-shirts were opposed by the pro-establishment yellow-shirts, in a prolonged political conflict that the novel calls “a chasm between two groups who held two completely different versions of the truth.” The protests ended in 2010, when Abhisit Vejjajiva authorised the use of live ammunition by the army. As the novel puts it: “Death and casualties among Red Shirt protestors erupted after the government—led by the prime minister with the pretty face—ordered the police to ‘secure the area’.”

Interviewed by Max Crosbie-Jones for the Nikkei Asia website this month, Uthis explained that the 2010 crackdown marked the beginning of his political engagement: “Prior to that I thought that art and literature was separate from politics, but seeing so many people killed changed me. And it was even more disappointing to see members of Thailand’s literary and art circles celebrating. Politics have been embedded in my work ever since.”

In his Nikkei article, Crosbie-Jones describes the 2010 massacre, which took place at Ratchaprasong in Bangkok, as “an event that galvanized many Thai artists, writers and filmmakers to address the country’s legacy of coups, military interference and autocracy”. Similarly, Sayan Daenklom coined the term “Post-Ratchaprasong art” to describe works produced in response to the crackdown, in the journal Read (อ่าน; vol. 3, no. 2).

Like Uthis, author Veeraporn Nitiprapha was also inspired to incorporate political subtext into her fiction writing after 2010, as she explained in an interview with the Electric Literature website: “I was overcome with a deep, painful bitterness seeing the fashionable, well-educated, well-paid people of the city feeling content about the injuries inflicted upon the poorer, less educated people who were mostly from the upcountry. And it was important to write about that bitterness.”

In Thailand, this political awakening is known as ta sawang. Film directors Pen-ek Ratanaruang (“me, who five years ago had no interest in politics”), Yuthlert Sippapak (“I never gave a shit about politics”), Chulayarnnon Siriphol (“I turned to be interested in the political situation”), Thunska Pansittivorakul (“I started to learn about politics”), Apichatpong Weerasethakul (“I was politically naïve”), and Nontawat Numbenchapol (“I was a teenager, a young man not interested in politics”) all describe their ta sawang moments in Thai Cinema Uncensored.

25 November 2023

Doi Boy


Doi Boy

Nontawat Numbenchapol’s film Doi Boy (ดอยบอย) was released on Netflix yesterday. Nontawat’s documentaries—including Boundary (ฟ้าต่ำแผ่นดินสูง), By the River (สายน้ำติดเชื้อ), and Soil Without Land (ดินไร้แดน)—have highlighted sensitive political issues, and Doi Boy, his first feature film, is no exception.

Boundary and Soil Without Land both explored tensions on Thailand’s borders, and in both cases the documentaries focused on the experiences of a young soldier caught up in a larger conflict. Boundary follows Aod, a Thai soldier who returns to his hometown on the border with Cambodia. Jai, the main subject of Soil Without Land, is a stateless man living on the border between Myanmar and Thailand, who reluctantly joins the Shan State Army.

Sorn, the central protagonist of Doi Boy, is also a young man from Shan State conscripted into the military. After deserting, he crosses the border into Thailand, jumping from the frying pan into the fire. He is forced to totally transform his identity (from monk to soldier to sex worker) and, like other undocumented migrants in Thailand and elsewhere, he is exploited by almost everyone he meets, but particularly by Ji, a corrupt police officer with a guilty conscience.

Doi Boy begins with young Thai demonstrators chanting “For the people!” Clearly, this is meant to evoke the student protest movement that began in 2020, calling for reform of the monarchy, but the real-life slogans were presumably too sensitive for the film. Nontawat previously made Sound of ‘Din’ Daeng, a series of short documentaries about the demonstrators, and he recreates the atmosphere of the protests in Doi Boy.

Another slogan of the Doi Boy protesters is: “It could be you!”, a reference to the kidnapping and murdering of protest ringleaders. It soon becomes clear that the police are behind these crimes, as Ji suffocates a captured protester, Bhoom, with a bin bag. In 2021, corrupt police chief Thitisan Utthanaphon murdered drug suspect Jeerapong Thanapat in the same manner. (That case was also referenced, much less tastefully, in Poj Arnon’s comedy Oh My Ghost! 8/หอแต๋วแตกแหก โควิดปังปุริเย่.)

Doi Boy

At the end of the film, a somewhat ethereal body is shown, in a foetal position, apparently inside an oil drum. Again, this has real-life echoes: several anti-government activists, including Wanchalearm Satsaksit, are missing, presumed dead, and after Porlajee Rakchongcharoen was murdered in 2014, his remains were found in an oil drum. (Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s exhibition A Minor History/ประวัติศาสตร์กระจ้อยร่อย showed the disposal of the bodies of murdered political dissidents in the Mekong river.)

Doi Boy admirably addresses human rights abuses in a feature film, though it’s also very stylishly shot and edited. Phuttiphong Aroonpheng attempted a similar combination with Manta Ray (กระเบนราหู), though whereas Phuttiphong’s film was a case of style over substance, Doi Boy achieves exactly the right balance. This is immediately apparent from the audacious opening sequence, when Sorn performs a striptease wearing a rubber gimp suit, intercut with flashbacks to Ji’s suffocation of Bhoom.

23 November 2023

Red Poetry


Red Poetry

Supamok Silarak’s film Red Poetry (ความกวีสีแดง) will be shown in Salaya this weekend. The feature-length documentary is a profile 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 screened last year at Wildtype 2022.

The documentary, filmed in 2021, shows the intense endurance and commitment Vitthaya invests in his protest art. A durational performance—sitting near 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. 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. He was convicted of lèse-majesté earlier this year, and received a suspended sentence.

Red Poetry will be shown at Die Kommune on 25th November, at a screening organised by Mahidol University’s Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies. It has previously been screened in Chiang Mai earlier this year, and it had an online screening as part of this year’s Short Film Marathon (หนังสั้นมาราธอน).

22 November 2023

ใช้แล้ว ใช้อยู่ ใช้ต่อ
(‘I’ve used it, I’m using it, I’ll keep using it’)



Later this week, Bangkok University will be screening a programme of short films that reappropriate found footage. The ใช้แล้ว ใช้อยู่ ใช้ต่อ (‘I’ve used it, I’m using it, I’ll keep using it’) programme includes Chulayarnnon Siriphon’s ANG48 (เอเอ็นจี48) and Kanyarat Theerakrittayakorn’s Develop Viriyaporn Who Dared in Three Worlds (เจริญวิริญาพรมาหาทำใน 3 โลก).

ANG48 reuses scenes from the classic romance Sunset at Chaophraya (คู่กรรม), creating a new backstory for that film’s heroine. It has also been shown this year as part of the Short Film Marathon (หนังสั้นมาราธอน) and Wildtype 2023, and at last year’s Shadow Dancing exhibition.

Develop Viriyaporn Who Dared in Three Worlds features clips from short films by the mysterious and elusive Viriyaporn Boonprasert, and interviews with young Thai directors, one of whom may or may not be the face behind Viriyaporn’s pseudonym. It has previously been shown at Wildtype 2022.

ใช้แล้ว ใช้อยู่ ใช้ต่อ will take place at the Surat Osathanugrah Library on 24th November. Its title is a pun on “ทำแล้ว ทำอยู่ ทำต่อ” (‘I’ve done it, I’m doing it, I’ll keep doing it’), Prayut Chan-o-cha’s campaign slogan in this year’s election.

James Dyson v. Daily Mirror:
“These allegations represent a personal attack...”


Daily Mirror

James Dyson is suing the Daily Mirror newspaper over an article published last year describing his business strategy as “screw your country, and if anyone complains, tell them to suck it up.” The column, by Brian Reade, criticised poor public role models, and mentioned Dyson only briefly.

The article was published on the Mirror’s website on 28th January last year, and appeared in the print edition on the following day (p. 19). It has now been removed from the website, and deleted from online newspaper archives.

Dyson appeared at the Royal Courts of Justice in London yesterday, and issued a written statement about the article: “These allegations represent a personal attack on all that I have done and achieved in my lifetime and are highly distressing and hurtful.” He has accused the Mirror of defamation.

Dyson had previously filed a libel suit against Channel 4 and ITN, though that case was dismissed on 31st October last year. Judge Matthew Nicklin ruled that Dyson had not been personally implicated: “The broadcast is simply not about him, and no ordinary reasonable viewer could conclude that he was being in any way criticised.”

21 November 2023

“This image may be worth a million words...”


The New York Times

Israel and Hamas have been at war since 7th October and, as in previous conflicts, news organisations are making editorial judgements about publishing images of casualties. On 12th October, the Israeli government’s X account posted three photographs of children killed by Hamas; The Daily Telegraph newspaper printed one of those images the following day (p. 3), with the child’s face blurred. The newspaper’s headline paraphrased US Secretary of State Antony Blinken: “This image may be worth a million words”.

On its website on 13th November, The New York Times published an op-ed by Lydia Polgreen describing a photo taken by Mahmud Hams showing six dead children at a Gaza morgue, though her editor decided against reproducing the image in full. Instead, a cropped version was used, showing only the lower halves of the children’s faces.

The NYT’s front page on 20th November featured a photograph showing the shrouded body of eight-month-old Misk Joudeh, her face and arm visible as her remaining family members gathered around in mourning. She had been killed, alongside her parents, by an Israeli airstrike last month. (The image, taken by Samar Abu Elouf, was reprinted on the front page of the paper’s international edition yesterday.)

As Polgreen wrote in her online op-ed: “It is a rare thing for mainstream news organizations to publish graphic images of dead or wounded children. Rightly so. There is nothing quite so devastating as the image of a child whose life has been snuffed out by senseless violence.” This was also true in 2015, when The Independent newspaper published a photograph of three-year-old Alan Kurdi, washed up on a Turkish beach, on its front page.

18 November 2023

Studio Ghibli Film Festival 2023


Studio Ghibli Film Festival 2023

A retrospective of Hayao Miyazaki’s most popular films is being held at selected SF Cinema branches (Central malls in Chonburi, Korat, Khon Kaen, Salaya, Surat Thani, and Phuket; the Mall Lifestore in Bangkae and Ngamwongwan; Laemtong in Bangsaen; Sermthai Complex in Maha Sarakham; MAYA in Chiang Mai; and CentralWorld, Rama IX, and MBK in Bangkok) from 25th November to 31st December. SF’s Studio Ghibli Film Festival 2023 features seven Miyazaki classics: Howl’s Moving Castle (ハウルの動く城), Spirited Away (千と千尋の神隠し), Princess Mononoke (もののけ姫), Porco Rosso (紅の豚), Laputa: Castle in the Sky (天空の城ラピュタ), Kiki’s Delivery Service (魔女の宅急便), and My Neighbor Totoro (となりのトトロ).

Miyazaki’s masterpiece Spirited Away—arguably the greatest anime film ever made—will be shown on 25th November and 9th December at CentralWorld, MBK, Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen, Phuket, and Chonburi; on 26th November at CentralWorld and MBK; on 2nd December at MBK; on 3rd December at CentralWorld, Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen, Phuket, and Chonburi; on 10th December at MBK and CentralWorld; on 16th December at CentralWorld, Rama IX, Korat, Bangkae, Ngamwongwan, Salaya, and Surat Thani; on 17th December at MBK; on 18th December at CentralWorld and Chiang Mai; on 19th December at MBK; on 20th December at Maha Sarakham and Bansaen; on 23rd December at MBK, Rama IX, and Ngamwongwan; on Christmas Eve at CentralWorld; on 29th December at Rama IX; on 30th December at MBK, and on 31st December at CentralWorld. It has previously been screened in Bangkok at the Jam Café in 2015, at TK Park in 2018, and at the Baan Dusit Thani hotel in 2020.

16 November 2023

Asian Political Cartoons


Asian Political Cartoons

John A. Lent’s Asian Political Cartoons is a remarkable and comprehensive book, covering the history of political cartoons in no fewer than twenty countries. As the publisher claims, with justification, it is “not only the first such survey in English, but the most complete and detailed in any language.” Lent has interviewed more than 200 cartoonists—most notably, Zunar in Malaysia—and made multiple research trips to each of the countries he documents.

Histories of political cartoons traditionally focus on revolutionary France, Georgian Britain, and the Reconstruction era in the United States. Lent’s book, on the other hand, is a window into a previously inaccessible world of satirical art. He shows how cartoonists have challenged authoritarian regimes throughout Asia, and assesses the varying degrees of “freedom to cartoon” in the region (such as the repressive treatment of Mana Neyestani in Iran and Arifur Rahman in Bangladesh).

For his chapter on Thailand, Lent interviewed Chai Rachawat and Arun Watcharasawad, veteran cartoonists who have covered Thai politics since the 1970s for Thai Rath (ไทยรัฐ) and Matichon (มติชน), respectively. He discussed the Thaksin Shinawatra era with Buncha and Kamin from Manager (ผู้จัดการรายวัน), and he describes the enforced ‘attitude adjustment’ of another Thai Rath cartoonist, Sia, under Prayut Chan-o-cha’s military rule. He also covers the rise of anonymous online satirists such as Khai Maew. (Sia wasn’t interviewed for the book, though he spoke to Dateline Bangkok last year.)

The scope of Asian Political Cartoons is unprecedented, though Cherian George’s Red Lines also examines political cartooning from an international perspective. Victor S. Navasky’s The Art of Controversy covers European and American political cartoons, and Alexander Roob reproduces early newspaper cartoons in The History of Press Graphics 1819–1921.

14 November 2023

Small-Talk


Small-Talk

Cremation Ceremony (ประวัติย่อของบางสิ่งที่หายไป) will be shown as part of a triple bill of short films by Vichart Somkaew at Doc Club and Pub in Bangkok this month. The Small-Talk programme will be screened on 16th, 19th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 26th, and 28th November; and 1st, 4th, and 12th December. Vichart will be present for a post-screening discussion on 19th November. Cremation Ceremony was previously shown at this year’s Chiang Mai Film Festival, and at Wildtype 2023.

The film, which resembles a video installation, shows the faces of three politicians staring impassively at the viewer. The three men—Anutin Charnvirakul, former health minister; and two former prime ministers, Abhisit Vejjajiva and Prayut Chan-o-cha—are each responsible for gross injustices. Anutin oversaw the Thai government’s initially sluggish response to the coronavirus pandemic. Abhisit authorised the shooting of red-shirt protesters in 2010. Prayut led a coup, and his government revived lèse-majesté prosecutions.

Vichart sets fire to photographs of the three men, their faces distorting as the photographic paper burns. There is no dialogue, and the only sound is the crackling of the flame. This symbolic ritual is a commemoration of the deaths of Covid victims, red-shirt protesters, and political dissidents, though it’s also a metaphorical act of retribution, as the three men have faced no consequences for their actions. (Anutin recently returned to government, Abhisit was cleared of all charges by the Supreme Court in 2017, and Prayut announced his retirement this year.)

While the three portraits burn slowly, captions mourn the red-shirts shot at Wat Pathum Wanaram, political prisoners charged under article 112, and—most tragically—casualties 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 this year’s election. (The film was made before the progressive election winners were denied a place in the governing coalition and replaced by the political wings of the military junta.)

11 November 2023

Landscape of Unity the Indivisible


Landscape of Unity the Indivisible

Manit Sriwanichpoom’s exhibition Landscape of Unity the Indivisible (ทิวทัศน์แห่งความเป็นหนึ่งอันมิอาจแบ่งแยก) opens tomorrow at Galerie Oasis in Bangkok, and runs until 29th January next year. Manit has enlarged press photographs of two notorious instances of state violence in southern Thailand that took place in 2004: the massacre of insurgents at Krue Se Mosque, and the suffocation of protesters at Tak Bai. The artist has painted over areas of the photographs with red, white, and blue paint, representing the colours of Thailand’s flag, though the dominant colour is red, which also signifies the blood of the victims. The security forces have never been held accountable for either Krue Se or Tak Bai, and the statute of limitations expires next year, giving Manit’s exhibition a sense of urgency.

The Thaksin Shinawatra government prohibited the broadcasting of video footage of the Tak Bai incident. In defiance of the ban, Same Sky (ฟ้าเดียวกัน) magazine distributed a VCD—ความจริงที่ตากใบ (‘the truth at Tak Bai’)—with its October–December 2004 issue (vol. 2, no. 4). The footage is also included in Thunska Pansittivorakul’s documentary This Area Is Under Quarantine (บริเวณนี้อยู่ภายใต้การกักกัน), which led to the film being banned. (Thai Cinema Uncensored discusses the censorship of Tak Bai video footage.)

Landscape of Unity the Indivisible is this year’s third exhibition featuring art inspired by Tak Bai, after รำลึก 19 ปี ตากใบ (‘remembering 19 years of Tak Bai’) and Heard the Unheard (สดับเสียงเงียบ). Tak Bai photographs were also shown at the Deep South (ลึกลงไป ใต้ชายแดน) exhibition last year. Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Photophobia series also incorporates press photographs of the incident, as does the interactive installation Black Air by Pimpaka Towira, Akritchalerm Kalayanamitr, Koichi Shimizu, and Jakrawal Nilthamrong.

Jehabdulloh Jehsorhoh’s Violence in Tak Bai (ความรุนแรงที่ตากใบ) features tombstones marking the graves of each victim, and his book The Patani Art of Struggle (سني ڤتاني چاراو او سها) shows three versions of the installation in situ. It was first exhibited a few days after the massacre, and the grave markers were accompanied by rifles wrapped in white cloth. In 2017, it was mounted on a plinth containing Pattani soil at the Patani Semasa (ปาตานี ร่วมสมัย) exhibition.

Two other installations—Jakkhai Siributr’s 78 and Zakariya Amataya’s Report from a Partitioned Village (รายงานจากหมู่บ้านที่ถูกปิดล้อม)—both feature lists of the Tak Bai victims’ names. Photophobia, 78, and Violence in Tak Bai were all included in the Patani Semasa exhibition. (The exhibition catalogue gives Violence in Tak Bai a milder alternative title, Remember at Tak Bai.) Patani Semasa also featured Ruangsak Anuwatwimon’s sculpture No Country Like Home, which incorporates a bullet-ridden tablet from the Krue Se Mosque.

09 November 2023

Pulp Fiction


Pulp Fiction

Neighbourhood, the Bangkok community mall that began regular outdoor film screenings last month, will show Pulp Fiction tomorrow. Quentin Tarantino’s classic was previously shown at House Samyan and Bangkok Screening Room in 2019, and at Cinema Winehouse in 2018 and 2015.

Sondhi v. Prachatai


Prachatai

Thailand’s Criminal Court yesterday dismissed a defamation lawsuit filed by media mogul Sondhi Limthongkul against the online news organisation Prachatai. Sondhi had filed the case in August, claiming that Prachatai misrepresented his opinion by falsely implying that he supported another coup.

In a Facebook post on 31st July, Sondhi speculated on the future of Thai politics, listing thirteen potential scenarios. The last of these was the possibility of another coup, which he described as “ไร้ความชอบธรรม” (‘illegitimate’). Later that day, the Prachatai website reported Sondhi’s comments about the chances of a coup, though its headline omitted the word ‘illegitimate’.

The Criminal Court noted that the first sentence of Prachatai’s article quoted his reference to an ‘illegitimate coup’, and that the article also went on to reproduce Sondhi’s list of thirteen scenarios in full, thus mitigating any potential misunderstanding caused by the headline. (Dateline Bangkok raised the same points a few days after Sondhi sued Prachatai.)

01 November 2023

Cannibal Holocaust (4k blu-ray)


Cannibal Holocaust Cannibal Holocaust
Cannibal Holocaust Cannibal Holocaust
Cannibal Holocaust Cannibal Holocaust

Ruggero Deodato’s Cannibal Holocaust was remastered in 4k for the first time by 88 Films in the UK last year, and their new transfer was released on UHD blu-ray and standard blu-ray discs. The film’s opening titles were digitally recreated for the 4k version, using a slightly different typeface [pictured left] compared to the original version [right]. The new titles include several typos: Franco Palaggi and Franco Di Nunzio’s first names both mistakenly appear as “FRANKO”, and ‘authenticity’ is misspelt “autheticity”. (A full stop is also missing.)

As a UK release, the 4k version has been censored by the BBFC, though only one sequence—the killing of a coati—has been cut. As if to offset the typos and censorship, the 88 Films discs also include an excellent new audio commentary by horror expert Kim Newman and writer Barry Forshaw. The US blu-ray, from Grindhouse Releasing, is uncensored, though for purists the only truly complete version is the Dutch Ultrabit DVD edition: in this print, the documentary sequence The Last Road to Hell is a few seconds longer.

The film is notoriously shocking, and remains one of the most famous titles caught up in the ‘video nasties’ moral panic in the UK during the early 1980s. Its genuine cruelty to animals is, of course, indefensible, but it’s also notable as the first ‘found footage’ horror film, directly influencing The Blair Witch Project and indirectly inspiring the wave of Blair Witch imitations that followed.

Cannibal Holocaust is undeniably an exploitation movie—from a cycle of cannibal-themed Italian horror films that began with Man from Deep River (Il paese del sesso selvaggio)—though it transcends that reputation with its critique of the mondo documentary subgenre. As discussed in Killing for Culture, mondo films mutated from the relatively mild Mondo Cane to violent ‘shockumentaries’, a trend that Cannibal Holocaust both condemns and exploits.

Surprisingly, the film has been available uncut on DVD in Thailand for more than twenty years, prior to the introduction of the rating system. (As noted in Thai Cinema Uncensored, Thai film censors are concerned far more with politics and religion than with violence.) It was shown at Bangkok’s Jam Café in 2015, and a screening at Thammasat University was planned in 2020, though this was cancelled due to the coronavirus lockdown.

Cannibal Holocaust is not the only film whose title sequence has been mangled on blu-ray. All standard blu-ray releases of Ingmar Bergman’s classic The Seventh Seal (Det sjunde inseglet) feature a Swedish title screen with a missing word: “SJUNDE INSEGLET”. (The definite article “DET” has been omitted; 4k UHD blu-ray releases are unaffected.)

31 October 2023

The Disturbing Movie Iceberg



In 2021, a Reddit user known as Nice Guy Phil posted an infographic titled The Disturbing Movie Iceberg, an eight-tiered hierarchy of violent and offensive films. The metaphor in the title suggested that the films in tier one were ‘the tip of the iceberg’, while those in tier eight were the most disturbing films imaginable.

The chart generated a great deal of interest online, though most people who saw it were unaware of most of the films listed. In fact, it’s not advisable to seek out many of the films in the chart, and the only recommended films are those in tiers three and four. (The other tiers are either too mild to be considered truly disturbing, or too extreme to be considered narrative films.)

Tier one consists of mainstream horror movies that are entirely conventional and uncontroversial. Tier two features titles that are slightly more violent than those in tier one, including mainstream horror films that have been dismissed as ‘torture porn’.

Tiers three and four are the core of the list, and most viewers should confine themselves to these tiers. The exploitation films in tier three (such as Cannibal Holocaust) are not mainstream titles, though they have all been theatrically released. Tier four features fake snuff films released on video (including the Guinea Pig/ギニーピッグ series).

The titles in the remaining tiers are not commercial feature films, and should be avoided by most viewers. Tier five features Japanese porn videos, and tier six consists of mondo videos. The final two tiers contain extreme online material: fetish porn in tier seven, and death clips in tier eight.

(A compilation of footage from the 7th October Hamas attack on Israel, untitled though known colloquially as the ‘video of horrors’, would surely find a place in tier eight, though it has not been released to the public. The video, variations of which are between forty-four and forty-seven minutes long, was edited by Mattan Harel-Fisch and includes uncensored footage of the deaths of many Israelis on that day. It has been shown to journalists, politicians, and diplomats at various private screenings.)

26 October 2023

Short Film Marathon 27



The 27th Short Film and Video Festival (เทศกาลภาพยนตร์สั้นครั้งที่ 27) runs from 16th December until Christmas Eve at the Thai Film Archive in Salaya. As a prelude, all of the films submitted will be screened in alphabetical order in this year’s online Short Film Marathon (หนังสั้นมาราธอน), between 31st October and 6th December.

The Short Film and Video Festival, founded in 1997, is Thailand’s longest-running film event. Whereas other festivals have come and gone, the Short Film and Video Festival goes from strength to strength: 400 films were submitted last year, and this year the total has increased to 600, though only a fraction will be selected for the main event.

A Love Letter to My Sister
Red Poetry

Highlights this year include A Love Letter to My Sister by video journalist Napasin Samkaewcham, a deeply moving documentary about the volatile relationship between his parents. It will have its first public screening on 11th November.

Also, the feature-length version of Supamok Silarak’s documentary Red Poetry (ความกวีสีแดง)—a profile of performance artist Vitthaya Klangnil, who has been convicted of lèse-majesté—will be shown on 16th November. (It has previously been shown only at under-the-radar screenings in Chiang Mai.)

Three standouts from the Wildtype 2023 event—Chulayarnnon Siriphol’s ANG48 (เอเอ็นจี48), Vichart Somkaew’s Cremation Ceremony (ประวัติย่อของบางสิ่งที่หายไป), and Koraphat Cheeradit’s Yesterday Is Another Day—are also included, showing on 2nd, 4th, and 19th November, respectively. (Cremation Ceremony and Yesterday Is Another Day were previously screened at this year’s Chiang Mai Film Festival, and Yesterday Is Another Day has also been shown at Silpakorn University.)

Chatchawal Thongjun’s From Forest to City (อรัญนคร), one of the best Thai short films of the year, will be shown on 6th December. Koraphat Cheeradit’s experimental, transgressive Tomorrow I Fuck with Yesterday Now! (ฉันแต่งงานกับปัจจุบัน ช่วยตัวเองด้วยเมื่อวาน และมีเพศสัมพันธ์กับวันพรุ่งนี้) is screening on 19th November.


กลุ่มอิสระล้อการเมือง 14 ตุลา (‘political parody of 14th Oct.’), Warat Bureephakdee’s satirical commentary on the aftermath of the 14th October 1973 massacre, is screening on 21st November. Warat’s collage film reappropriates footage from the documentary อนุทินวีรชน 14 ตุลาคม (‘diary of 14th October heroes’), and he takes a skeptical view of the claims of democratic freedom that were made after the event. The film ends with the caption “ถนอม WILL RETURN” (‘Thanom will return’), in the style of the James Bond series, though in this case the ominous reference is to military dictator Thanom Kittikachorn. Thanom was sent into exile after the massacre, though he did indeed return to Thailand in 1976, and this precipitated the 6th October 1976 coup.

On 30th November, Teeraphan Ngowjeenanan’s แฟ้มรวมภาพทักษิณกลับไทย (‘dossier of pictures of Thaksin’s return to Thailand’) documents another politician’s return from exile. Thaksin Shinawatra returned to Thailand earlier this year, and the film is a compilation of live TV coverage of his arrival at the airport and his performative prostration in front of a portrait of Rama X. The events are replayed more than twenty times, each from a different TV broadcast, accompanied by commentary from each channel’s news anchors. The film ends with a montage of TikTok videos from Thaksin supporters at the airport.


Kawinnate Konklong’s แค่วันที่โชคร้าย (‘unfortunately’) dramatises the ideological gap between generations, as a royalist father files a lèse-majesté charge against his daughter’s girlfriend, Bam, after she attends a protest calling for reform of the monarchy. The man tells his daughter: “I used the law to protect the King from defamation. Unfortunately, the person was Bam.” His dialogue evokes a comment from former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, who dismissed dozens of civilian casualties: “unfortunately, some people died”. The film will be shown on 23rd November, and although its plot is fictional, it echoes journalist Michael Peel’s book The Fabulists. Peel interviewed a man who filed lèse-majesté charges against young activists, and consequently “had fallen out with his son over his alleged disrespect for the monarchy.”

25 October 2023

The Right to Rule:
Thirteen Years, Five Prime Ministers and the Implosion of the Tories


The Right to Rule

The Right to Rule: Thirteen Years, Five Prime Ministers and the Implosion of the Tories, by Ben Riley-Smith, sets out to explain how the Conservatives have held on to power in the UK since 2010. One reason is simply that the party has an inbuilt sense of entitlement: “The story that emerges is one of a party built to rule. Time and again, the same message was echoed by interviewees: what must be understood is that the Conservatives are not an ‘ideological party’ but a ‘power party’.”

A complete political history of the past thirteen years would be impossible to cover in a single volume, so the book instead focuses on “ten critical moments or parts of the story, the pivotal points that explain the wider whole.” These include David Cameron’s decision to hold the Brexit referendum, Theresa May’s ill-fated 2017 election, Boris Johnson’s resignation (Riley-Smith subscribes to the ‘three Ps’ theory cited in The Fall of Boris Johnson), and the brief Liz Truss premiership.

Riley-Smith interviewed more than 100 sources for the book, including three of the last five prime ministers (Cameron, Johnson, and Truss). He spoke to twenty of Johnson’s cabinet ministers, and obtained the first drafts of Johnson’s resignation speech and Truss’s party conference speech. He also quotes previously unpublished material from his Telegraph interview with Sunak—“people are fed up with politicians talking about things and not actually doing them”—and extracts from a tranche of internal party memos from the 2017 election campaign.

Surprisingly, The Right to Rule has not been widely reviewed, except by The Daily Telegraph, of which Riley-Smith is the political editor. But it deserves wider coverage, particularly for its revealing insights into Conservative party procedures: it explains the process by which letters of no confidence are submitted to the chairman of the 1922 Committee, and it includes the first published photograph of a cabinet reshuffle whiteboard.

รำลึก 19 ปี ตากใบ
(‘remembering 19 years of Tak Bai’)



Today marks the nineteenth anniversary of the tragedy that took place at Tak Bai on 25th October 2004. More than 1,000 people protested outside Tak Bai’s Provincial Police Station, and police responded with water cannon, tear gas, and live ammunition, killing five people. The surviving demonstrators were crammed into trucks and taken to Ingkhayuttha Borihan Fort military camp, though seventy-eight people died of suffocation during the five-hour journey.

The security forces have never been held accountable for the deaths, and the government prohibited the broadcasting of video footage of the incident. In defiance of the ban, Same Sky (ฟ้าเดียวกัน) magazine distributed a Tak Bai VCD—ความจริงที่ตากใบ (‘the truth at Tak Bai’)—with its October–December 2004 issue (vol. 2, no. 4). The footage is also included in Thunska Pansittivorakul’s documentary This Area Is Under Quarantine (บริเวณนี้อยู่ภายใต้การกักกัน), leading to the film being banned. (Thai Cinema Uncensored discusses the censorship of Tak Bai videos.)


รำลึก 19 ปี ตากใบ (‘remembering 19 years of Tak Bai’), an exhibition at Patani Artspace, opens today to commemorate the anniversary, and closes on 16th December. Video and photographs are included, and this afternoon there will also be a rare opportunity to play Patani Colonial Territory. (The card game, which was banned last year, was designed as an educational tool to provoke discussion about the contested history of the Patani region.)

The Heard the Unheard (สดับเสียงเงียบ) exhibition at Silpakorn and Thammasat universities earlier this year also commemorated the nineteenth anniversary. Tak Bai photographs were shown at the Deep South (ลึกลงไป ใต้ชายแดน) exhibition last year in Bangkok. Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Photophobia series incorporates press photographs of the incident, as does the interactive installation Black Air by Pimpaka Towira, Akritchalerm Kalayanamitr, Koichi Shimizu, and Jakrawal Nilthamrong.

Jehabdulloh Jehsorhoh’s Violence in Tak Bai (ความรุนแรงที่ตากใบ) features white tombstones marking the graves of each victim, and his book The Patani Art of Struggle (سني ڤتاني چاراو او سها) shows three versions of the installation in situ. It was first installed, just a few days after the massacre, at Prince of Songkla University in Pattani, and the grave markers were accompanied by rifles wrapped in white cloth. In 2017, it was recreated at Patani Artspace and then mounted on a plinth containing Pattani soil at the Patani Semasa (ปาตานี ร่วมสมัย) exhibition.

Two other installations—Jakkhai Siributr’s 78 and Zakariya Amataya’s Report from a Partitioned Village (รายงานจากหมู่บ้านที่ถูกปิดล้อม)—both include lists of the Tak Bai victims’ names. Photophobia, 78, and Violence in Tak Bai were all included in the Patani Semasa exhibition in Chiang Mai. (The exhibition catalogue gives Violence in Tak Bai a milder alternative title, Remember at Tak Bai.)

24 October 2023

The Divider:
Trump in the White House, 2017–2021


The Divider

The Divider: Trump in the White House, 2017–2021, published last year, is the only book to cover the entirety of Donald Trump’s presidency in a single volume. Every day of his four-year term brought another I-can’t-believe-he-did-that moment, so it’s not surprising that The Divider is over 700 pages long.

The Divider—written by Peter Baker, chief White House correspondent for The New York Times; and Susan Glasser of The New Yorker—argues that Trump succeeded by stoking the embers of preexisting social polarisation: “He exploited the fissures in American society to gain, wield, and hold on to power.” This divide-and-conquer strategy, which gives the book its title, culminated in the insurrection at the Capitol in 2021.

Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker began their book on Trump’s final year in office by listing a dozen of his personal failings. The Divider, on the other hand, opens by identifying arguably the most pernicious aspect of his presidency—not included in Leonnig and Rucker’s litany—namely his “sustained four-year war on the institutions and traditions of American democracy.”

Most of the major Trump books—by Leonnig, Rucker, Maggie Haberman, Bob Woodward, and Robert Costa—are structured scene-by-scene, with atmospheric accounts of selected meetings recounted by the participants. The Divider is just as well-sourced—Baker and Glasser interviewed more than 300 people, including Trump—but it focuses instead on the bigger picture, giving a uniquely comprehensive overview of Trump’s presidency.

This is the twentieth, and surely the last, Trump book reviewed on Dateline Bangkok (at least until his inevitable ghostwritten memoir is published). The others are: Betrayal, Confidence Man, Fire and Fury, Too Much and Never Enough, Fear, Rage, Peril, I Alone Can Fix It, A Very Stable Genius, Inside Trump’s White House, The United States of Trump, Trump’s Enemies, The Trump White House, The Room Where It Happened, Team of Five, American Carnage, TrumpNation, The Cost, and the audiobook The Trump Tapes.

23 October 2023

Finally Enough Love:
50 Number Ones



Madonna released her dance remix album Finally Enough Love last year. An expanded version, Finally Enough Love: 50 Number Ones, was released a few months later as a CD triple album and a six-disc vinyl box set. The album features fifty tracks, including forty-nine of the fifty number ones Madonna has achieved on Billboard’s dance club songs chart. The title is a line from the lyrics to I Don’t Search I Find, from the Madame X album, and the text on the cover has been cut-and-pasted from Billboard’s website. Unfortunately, most of the tracks are edited versions, so this isn’t a definitive collection of Madonna remixes. (The full-length remixes are available on her back catalogue of 12" singles and maxi CDs, Justify My Love being a personal favourite.)

Of the fifty chart toppers, forty-nine were singles, the one exception being Madonna’s previous dance remix album, You Can Dance, as the entire album was counted as one entry on the dance club songs chart. 50 Number Ones features two tracks from You Can DanceEverybody and Physical Attraction—but one of the forty-nine singles, Causing a Commotion, is missing. This is odd, because it did reach number one on the dance club songs chart, and it’s clearly a song that Madonna still likes, as she sang it a cappella during yesterday’s performance of The Celebration Tour.

The 50 Number Ones track list is: Holiday, Like a Virgin, Material Girl, Into the Groove, Open Your Heart, Everybody, Physical Attraction, Like a Prayer, Express Yourself, Keep It Together, Vogue, Justify My Love, Erotica, Deeper and Deeper, Fever, Secret, Bedtime Story, Don’t Cry for Me Argentina, Frozen, Ray of Light, Nothing Really Matters, Beautiful Stranger, American Pie, Music, Don’t Tell Me, What It Feels Like for a Girl, Impressive Instant, Die Another Day, American Life, Hollywood, Me Against the Music, Nothing Fails, Love Profusion, Hung Up, Sorry, Get Together, Jump, 4 Minutes, Give It 2 Me, Celebration, Give Me All Your Lovin’, Girl Gone Wild, Turn Up the Radio, Living for Love, Ghosttown, Bitch I’m Madonna, Medellín, I Rise, Crave, and I Don’t Search I Find.

21 October 2023

Cunt


The Cunt BookThe Essential Cunt

Feminist artist Janice Turner has published two books of her ‘cunt’ paintings: The Cunt Book in 2019, and the significantly expanded The Essential Cunt last year (which also includes an interview with the author). Turner cites Eve Ensler’s play The Vagina Monologues as the original inspiration for her quest to reclaim the c-word, and in The Essential Cunt she repeats the word in the same way that Ensler does: “Cunt, practice it cunt cunt cunt cunt love the word and love your CUNT”.

There are also other possible influences. Turner’s phrase “love your CUNT” evokes Germaine Greer’s pioneering essay Lady Love Your Cunt, and The Essential Cunt seems to paraphrase a monologue about the f-word from Madonna’s Blond Ambition tour. Madonna told her audience: “‘Fuck’ is not a bad word... If your mom and dad did not fuck, you would not be here”; Turner writes: “CUNT is not a dirty word!... If not for a CUNT, you would not be here!” Other artists who have painted the c-word include Marlene McCarty, Sam Taylor-Wood, and Alison Carmichael.

20 October 2023

Killers of the Flower Moon


Killers of the Flower Moon

Like The Irishman, Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon is around three-and-a-half hours long, but the running time doesn’t feel excessive, thanks to Scorsese’s direction and Robbie Robertson’s score. The film tells the true story of the murders of Osage Native Americans in the 1920s, killings committed by white settlers who married into Osage families to inherit the profits from oil wells in Osage County.

Robert De Niro’s character, King Hale, is a corrupt patriarch in the same vein as John Huston’s Noah Cross in Chinatown, though De Niro’s performance is more subtle than Huston’s. Leonardo DiCaprio plays Hale’s nephew, Ernest Burkhart—who loves his wife, but loves money even more—with an almost permanent frown. Relative newcomer Lily Gladstone is outstanding as Ernest’s stoic wife, Mollie.

Killers of the Flower Moon opened in cinemas yesterday, and will be available on Apple TV in the near future. One of Scorsese’s best films of the last two decades, it’s an epic late-career masterpiece from the world’s greatest living director (who makes a few cameo appearances, in front of the camera and in voiceover). The film’s Osage-language title is 𐓀𐒻͘𐓂͘𐓄𐒰 𐒹𐒿𐒰𐓆𐒼𐒰 𐓓𐒻͘𐒼𐒰 𐓊'𐒷𐓍𐒷.

18 October 2023

Trilogy of the Wayward Travelers


Trilogy of the Wayward Travelers

Weerapat Sakolvaree’s short film Nostalgia will be shown tomorrow at Bangkok University’s School of Digital Media and Cinematic Arts, as part of the Trilogy of the Wayward Travelers programme. Weerapat will be present for a post-screening discussion.

Nostalgia has previously been shown at the Chiang Mai Film Festival 2023, Future Fest 2023, Wildtype 2022, and the 26th Thai Short Film and Video Festival (เทศกาลภาพยนตร์สั้นครั้งที่ 26). Weerapat is also the director of Zombie Citizens.

15 October 2023

The Celebration Tour



“I’m gonna tell you the story of my life, but I’m gonna do it through music and dance, so I hope you enjoy it.”
— Madonna

The Celebration Tour, Madonna’s eleventh world tour, began last night in London. (The show was originally scheduled to open on 27th July, but was postponed after the singer developed a severe bacterial infection.) Madonna will be performing in Europe, the US, Canada, and Mexico, with the final concert being held on 24th April 2024.

Unlike Madonna’s previous tours, which have all promoted individual album releases, The Celebration Tour is her first greatest hits or retrospective tour. The title comes from her 2009 compilation album Celebration. It’s also her first tour without a live band, as the music and backing vocals are all prerecorded. With almost thirty songs performed live, a platform suspended above the crowd, and a spectacular lighting rig, it’s Madonna’s most elaborate live show, after the relative intimacy of the Madame X Tour.

The tour is effectively an autobiography, conceived after Madonna cancelled plans to write and direct a biopic about herself. Montages of clips from Madonna’s music videos, extracts from Truth or Dare, newspaper headlines, and archive photos—including some from the Sex book—provide an audio-visual collage of her forty-year career. She wears an updated version of her notorious Blond Ambition World Tour conical bra, designed by Jean-Paul Gaultier, while she performs Vogue, Human Nature, and Crazy for You.

The full set list is: Nothing Really Matters, Everybody, Into the Groove, Burning Up, Open Your Heart, Holiday, Live to Tell, Like a Prayer, Erotica, Justify My Love, Hung Up, Bad Girl, Vogue, Human Nature, Crazy for You, Die Another Day, Don’t Tell Me, a cover version of Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive, La Isla Bonita, Don’t Cry For Me Argentina, Bedtime Story, Ray of Light, Rain, Bitch I’m Madonna, and Celebration (featuring the chorus from Music). On the opening night, she also sang an a capella version of Little Star

Other songs—In This Life, The Beast Within, and I Don’t Search I Find—appear as prerecorded interludes. There is also a prerecorded version of Like a Virgin, in a medley with Michael Jackson performing Billie Jean. (Madonna previously sang a Like a Virgin and Billie Jean medley on The Virgin Tour.) In light of the credible child abuse allegations made against Jackson, lyrics like “Touched for the very first time” make the medley particularly inappropriate.

Madonna’s previous world tours are Who’s That Girl, Blond Ambition, The Girlie Show, Drowned World, Reinvention, Confessions, Sticky and Sweet, MDNA, Rebel Heart, and Madame X. The Virgin Tour was performed only in the US and Canada.

13 October 2023

“Meloni, Salvini: bastardi...”
(‘Meloni, Salvini: bastards...’)



>A political commentator was found guilty yesterday of defaming Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. Speaking on the Piazzapulita (‘clean sweep’) talk show on 3rd December 2020, Roberto Saviano criticised Meloni and another far-right politician, Matteo Salvini, for their anti-immigration rhetoric: “Viene solo da dire: bastardi. Meloni, Salvini: bastardi. Come avete potuto?” (‘it just makes you say: bastards. Meloni, Salvini: bastards. How could you?’)

Saviano was fined €1,000, though he will only be liable to pay if he repeats his comments. Prosecutors had originally sought a €50,000 penalty. The clip from Piazzapulita is still accessible on the website of La7, the TV channel that broadcasts the programme. Meloni is also suing singer Brian Molko, who called her a fascist at a concert earlier this year.

12 October 2023

50 ปี 14 ตุลา
เจ้าฝันถึงโลกสีใด
(‘50 years of 14th Oct.:
what colour world do you dream of?’)



This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the 14th October 1973 demonstration, when 500,000 people rallied at Bangkok’s Democracy Monument calling for a new constitution and an end to Thanom Kittikachorn’s dictatorial rule. The protest was successful, as Thanom was dismissed as prime minister and sent into exile—leading to a three-year period of democracy—though the military shot and killed seventy-seven protesters.

Commemorations of the massacre are surprisingly understated, despite the historic fiftieth anniversary. A commemorative exhibition earlier in the year contained no references to the incident. There is an exhibition of political billboards at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, albeit on a small scale. Most lamentably, there is an even smaller display of photocopied pages—from The Ten Days (วันมหาวิปโยค)— outside the 14 October 73 Memorial. The most substantial event is a series of film screenings at the Thai Film Archive in Salaya.


Another compact exhibition commemorating the anniversary opened today at Queen Sirikit National Convention Center. Organised by the publisher of Matichon (มติชน), 50 ปี 14 ตุลา เจ้าฝันถึงโลกสีใด (‘50 years of 14th Oct.: what colour world do you dream of?’) features a display of books, notably บันทึกลับจากทุ่งใหญ่ (‘secret notes on Thung Yai’), which exposed military corruption in the months before the protests. The exhibition also includes a monitor screening the documentary อนุทินวีรชน 14 ตุลาคม (‘diary of 14th October heroes’).

The documentary will also be shown at the Thai Film Archive, on 14th October. The exhibition at QSNCC runs until 23rd October, to coincide with Book Expo Thailand 2023. The exhibition brochure folds out into a small poster with a black-and-white photo of protesters at Democracy Monument on the day before the massacre.

Matichon also launched a new book about the events of October 1973 at the Book Expo today. ข้างหลังภาพ 14 ตุลาฯ: จากระบอบปฏิวัติของเผด็จการสู่การปฏิวัติของประชาชน (‘behind the image of 14th Oct.: from the dictatorship’s revolutionary regime to the people’s revolution’), by Pandit Chanrochanakit, includes reproductions of newspaper headlines and paintings related to the protests, and provides context on the political climate in the years before the massacre.