Independent Thai filmmaker Thunska Pansittivorakul will be in attendance for the German premiere of his newest film Reincarnate (2010) as well as a screening of three of his short films. Thunska is a central figure in the independent Thai cinema movement and has received multiple Thai and international awards. Thai independent cinema has been celebrated as a cinema of the ordinary, a cinema that privileges depictions of ordinary people and takes seriously the general population’s viewing capacities and therefore consistently moves at the limits of censorship.
A teacher and his student go on a trip to a magical island where there is urban life and tourist attractions as well as a palace and temples. Moreover, a haunting past still gnaws, spreads, mates and mutates in a loop that cannot be eliminated. It dissolves and mixes with memories affecting the present and possessing a power that can destroy the future. In this vague atmosphere, the place slowly becomes deserted like a nightmare you want to wake from but cannot resist.
Thunska Pansittivorakul represents an important figure in a critical public that continuously works to reform Thai film censorship laws. In 2008, film laws that originated in the 1930s were succeeded by the new, even more restrictive Film Act. The ultimately unsuccessful struggles of the Free Thai Cinema movement to prevent the passing of the Act underscored the precarious position of independent Thai cinema in the current political moment. Indeed, observers of Thai cinema have noted both an increase in film censorship after the 2006 military coup and in turn attributed intensified politicization to the work of independent filmmakers in the country.
Location: ICI Berlin
With an introduction by Arnika Fuhrmann and a discussion following the screening.
The screening was co-sponsored by korientation and Katholischer Fond