The Rise of Documentary Film Movement in Thai Cinema During Current Political Conflicts

Conference: The Asian Conference on Media, Communication & Film (MediAsia2022)
Title: The Rise of Documentary Film Movement in Thai Cinema During Current Political Conflicts
Stream: Documentary History
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
Sopawan Boonnimitra, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand
Peerachai Kerdsint, Bangkok University, Thailand


Throughout the history of Thai cinema, documentaries have only become popular with a Thai film-goers and young filmmakers in the recent time. With the establishing of Doc Club, a documentary distributor, the youngsters are more exposed to the documentary films and the success of new generation of documentary filmmakers in international film festivals have inspired the newcomers to try their hands at documentary. Moreover with the political consciousness that fuels the new generation during the political protests in the last few years have made them look for a chance to shout out about the social problems. The documentary films have become a space for filmmaker to voice their concern while trying to reach out for international audiences. This paper attempts to capture this moment in time where several documentary films, including, School Town King (Laisuwanchai, 2021), The Cave Lived (2020), Come and See (Boonprakob, 2019), among others have made it to cinema and have been recognised in national awards. The paper will take a closer look at what lies beneath these films when there has been the rising of Pro-democracy movement since 2019 when the country had first generation election since 2014 coups d’état by General Prayut Chan-o-cha and then he was re-installed as elected Prime Minister. The demand for radical change in the society by the new generation has kept its momentum until today and these films could give an insight into their mentality and attempt to destabilise the establishments and the traditional values in some ways.

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