Tuesday, February 12, 2008


There are three Thai short films that I like very much. They are DON’T FORGET ME (2003, Manutsak Dokmai, A+), RE-PRESENTATION (2007, Chai Chaiyachit, Chisanucha Kongwailap, A+) and “RED” AT LAST (2006, Suchart Sawasdsri, A+). DON’T FORGET ME and “RED” AT LAST deal directly with the Bangkok Massacre in October 1976, while RE-PRESENTATION deals with many topics, including the Bangkok Massacre in October 1976.

After I read some news about Thai current PM’s interview with CNN, I think I love these three Thai short films even much more than before.

This is the news from Bangkok Post’s website:

“Oct 6 people angry at PM's CNN interview


Former student activists who experienced first-hand the brutal crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators on Oct 6, 1976, have been outraged by Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej's interview with CNN.

During the interview on Saturday, Mr Samak said that on Oct 6, 1976, only one person was killed in the violent crackdown on protesting students and other demonstrators by the authoritarian government of the time.

Apichart Sakdiseth, a Democrat MP for Nakhon Si Thammarat, said Mr Samak had totally distorted the facts about the bloody Oct 6 crackdown.

''In the massacre that took place in the heart of the capital 30 years ago, the official number of people killed was 46 and hundreds of others went missing.

''They're historical facts that people around the world have learned,'' said Mr Apichart.

It was internationally known what led to the Oct 6 bloodshed, who were involved, who the masterminds were and its unprecedented and significant repercussions upon Thai society, he said.

Mr Apichart urged all people involved in the events of Oct 6, including former student activists, academics and relatives of those killed, to come out to defend the facts.

Former student activist Suthachai Yimprasert, now a history lecturer at Chulalongkorn University, said he assumed Mr Samak intentionally gave the wrong information to escape the accusation that he was also responsible for the 1976 massacre of student activists and other protesters.

''I don't want to debate the facts with him. He should know himself that this isn't the first time he has lied,'' said Mr Suthachai.

The history lecturer said there were two major sets of events on Oct 6, 1976.

First, soldiers and police surrounded Thammasat University and killed 46 students, wounded hundreds
others and arrested more than 3,000 people.

Then, in the evening, there was a coup d'etat. All newspaper offices were closed for three days. They resumed publication on Oct 9, and none reported the massacre. Consequently, the casualty figures reported later on were rather confusing.

However, Mr Suthachai said it was not good for a forum to debate the facts about the Oct 6 massacre.

He did not want Mr Samak's incorrect remarks to be the starting point of political conflict.

At least Mr Samak was an elected prime minister, said Mr Suthachai. Academia and the public should give him a chance to run the country as a democracy, he added.

''I still want him to run the country smoothly. But if he is found to be corrupt, then we should come out against him,'' said Mr Surachai.

Jaran Ditapichai, a core member of the pro-Thaksin United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship of Thailand and former Thammasat student who was arrested on Oct 6, 1976, insisted there was clear evidence that more than one person was killed on that day.The prime minister had given incorrect information, he said. ”


I haven’t seen SHOAH (1985, Claude Lanzmann), though the DVD of SHOAH is available in Bangkok. After I read the news about Samak, it reminds me of some people who deny that Holocaust ever happened. I think SHOAH can confirm the truth, can confirm what really happened. I wish there is a Thai director who follows Claude Lanzmann’s example. Maybe we can record the testimony of the survivors of the Bangkok Massacre in October 1976 on video and post some of the clips on Youtube. I know that there are many TV documentaries about this topic, especially the TV documentaries made in 1996 (20 years after the event), 2001 (25 years), and 2006 (30 years). Maybe we can compile these TV documentaries together. Maybe we can made a film in the same style as SHOAH about the Bangkok Massacre in 1976.


--Filmsick’s review in Thai on DON’T FORGET ME:

--Manutsak Dokmai’s filmography

--These are some photos about the Bangkok Massacre in 1976. I copy these photos from MERVEILLESXX’ blog:


--This is a photo from the photo series HORROR IN PINK (2001) by Manit Sriwanichpoom, which is inspired by the event.

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