Cannes-winning Thai director on fear and the political situation UPDATE
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Cannes-winning Thai director on fear and the political situation UPDATE

UPDATE: Found AFP version which was not garbled.

Apichatpong Weerasethakul, who won the Palme d’Or prize last month at Cannes for his movie “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives”, is interviewed by AFP. Key excerpts:

“People try to — especially from the government — they try to tell you what is the right thing to wear, the right thing to do or what is the proper national language and stuff like that,” he explained.
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/>”Fear is the key word,” he added, likening Thailand’s current situation to Eastern Europe in the 1960s and 70s, when filmmakers resorted to “a symbolic kind of movie” rather than an overtly political one.
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“People try to — especially from the government — they try to tell you what is the right thing to wear, the right thing to do or what is the proper national language and stuff like that,” he explained.
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/>Speaking at Cannes, he described Thailand, where 90 people died in the recent political violence, as “controlled by a group of mafia” and “a violent country” — comments that sparked a rush of online criticism from fellow Thais.

“But hey, look outside… it’s a third world country that is still violent and people still suffer — a lot of people,” he said back in Bangkok.

Based on his childhood and experience in the protesters’ heartland, he pointed the finger at central government control for fuelling their grievances, although he denied taking a political side.

“All the power is in Bangkok. So I think that’s why there’s resentment.”

BP: Which group of mafia was Apichatpong referring to? (this is a rhetorical question).

btw, for more on Apichatpong’s latest film and when it will be showing in Thailand, see Wise Kwai