Tuesday, December 16, 2008



My poll 41 is inspired by the political crisis in Thailand caused by a fascist group called PAD. This political crisis somehow reminds me of some films dealing with Nazi and its sympathizers. So I think I should make a list of my favorite films in this topic.

(Since I have no real knowledge in politics or history, I have to apologize in advance if I write something wrongly.)

Actually, PAD and Nazi are very different from each other. Nazi is much worse than PAD, because PAD hasn’t killed a lot of people. It is unfair to compare these two very dissimilar groups. However, there are some factors about the crisis in Thailand which remind me of what I see in films about Nazi. These factors include:

1.The crisis in Thailand, which requires people to choose between the PAD or the red-shirt group, makes me feel as if we were living in Poland or Belarus during World War II, and had to choose between Hitler or Stalin. These are very difficult choices, because both choices are bad. We have to decide which side is less evil. We have to decide which side is less likely to kill us.

I think the film ENIGMA portrays this point very well. If your innocent family is killed by Stalin, would you turn to support Hitler though you know Hitler is evil?

2.PURITY: Nazi aims for ethnic purity. PAD aims for political purity. It seems to want to make a system in which there are no corrupted politicians in the government at all. This idea seems to have nothing wrong with it. But is it truly practical or possible?

3.To achieve purity by evil acts or by terrorism: I don’t mind if the PAD tries to support this idea of political purity by legal means or by appropriate ways. But to get rid of corrupted politicians by harming innocent people or by terrorist acts are something I can’t approve of. I think the aim for PURITY in some groups of people, including some religious groups, has become something destructive. Furthermore, it’s fine if you want purity, but you can’t force other people who love a bit of dirtiness to change themselves to obey you and love purity like you.

4.Both Nazi and PAD are not motivated by greed, but they really believe that what they do is a morally good thing.

5.Nazi and PAD are about extreme nationalism. If you don’t agree with them, you will be called a national traitor, like Sophie Scholl.

6.The ideology conflict can break a family apart. I have read that there are some Thai families in which some members support the PAD, while other members in the same family support the red-shirt. These family members don’t talk to each other any more. This kind of family conflicts remind me of the TV series THE GOLDEN YEARS – THE BITTER YEARS, which portrays one woman who is married to a Nazi, but her sister is married to a Jew. It also reminds me of the film TWIN SISTERS.

7.I think the political crisis in Thailand is a real human test, like what happens in some films about Nazi. We have to choose which side to support. We have to decide if we dare to speak out or not, if we want to stay quiet and ignore what happens, if we will stay neutral until the end, if we sympathize with one side more than the other, if we should collaborate with the evil side for our own safety or for our own well-being, if we want to be safe, if we dare to risk our lives, or if we want to switch side when the situation changes.

8.As Leni Riefenstahl supported Nazi, there are also some Thai artists who support the PAD. In fact, there are many Thai artists who support the PAD, including painters, actors, filmmakers, writers, poets, and musicians.

9.The political crisis in Thailand made me live under fear and the sense of security disappeared, like what happens in some films about Nazi, though I feel a lot better now.

10.Both groups think they do it for the sake of their own countries, but in fact they ruin their own countries.

However, we must also remember that any victims can become aggressors any time. If one has become a victim of an evil group, that doesn’t necessarily mean the victim is an innocent person or will always be an innocent person. Though I hate the PAD, that doesn’t mean I agree with everything the red-shirt do or will do in the future. I don’t know. Maybe in the future I will change my mind. Only time will tell.

I don’t include films which focus on the holocaust here, because that is still far from the situation in Thailand. I just include films which show some interesting aspects of Nazi supporters or fascists, or films which remind me of the Thai political crisis here.


1.ANGRY HARVEST (1985, Agnieszka Holland, West Germany)

2.BRUTALITY IN STONE (1961, Alexander Kluge + Peter Schamoni, West Germany)

3.CABARET (1972, Bob Fosse, USA)

4.CAT AND MOUSE (1967, Hans Juergen Pohland, West Germany)

5.THE COUNTERFEITERS (2007, Stefan Ruzowitzky, Austria)

6.THE CREMATOR (1969, Juraj Herz, Czechoslovakia)

7.ENIGMA (2001, Michael Apted, UK)

8.THE FIFTH HORSEMAN IS FEAR (1964, Zbynek Brynych, Czechoslovakia)

9.THE GOLDEN YEARS – THE BITTER YEARS (1984, Michael Braun, West Germany, TV series)

10.HITLER: A FILM FROM GERMANY (1977, Hans-Juergen Syberberg, West Germany)

11.KUHLE WAMPE OR: TO WHOM DOES THE WORLD BELONG? (1932, Slatan Dudow, Germany)
This film actually focuses on the left-wing movement in Germany. But if I remember it correctly, the film also shows the early threats from Nazi.

12.MEPHISTO (1981, Istvan Szabo, Hungary)

13.MR. KLEIN (1976, Joseph Losey, France)

14.THE MURDERERS ARE AMONG US (1946, Wolfgang Staudte, Germany)
Unintentionally, this film makes me ask myself what I would do if I find out that my neighbor participated in the Bangkok massacre in Oct 6, 1976.

15.MUSIC BOX (1989, Costa-Gavras, USA)

16.THE NASTY GIRL (1990, Michael Verhoeven, West Germany)

17.THE NINTH DAY (2004, Volker Schlondorff, Germany)

18.SOPHIE SCHOLL: THE FINAL DAYS (2005, Marc Rothemund, Germany)

19.THE TESTAMENT OF DR. MABUSE (1933, Fritz Lang, Germany)

20.TWIN SISTERS (2002, Ben Sombogaart, Netherlands)

You can choose multiple votes.

--The title of the poll comes from Susan Sontag’s article. You can read her article here:


Anonymous said...

my voted including


if i have a chance to potray thai politics situation in cinema i'll choose WEEK-END (JEAN LUC GODARD) because the day that PAD close the airports reminding me a traffic jam scene in WEKK-END . Furthurmore,i think the scene that they burned the poet is like what's PAD did to artist or columnist that didn't support them .

btw i think what disturbing me much in this situation was it's reminding me the hospital scene in WRECKMEISTER HARMONIES when INDIVIDUAL PEOLPLE becoming a MASS of DESTRUCTION and destroy everything against them.

btw some of poltitical situation ( above PAD , u know what i mean) reminding me THE PARTY AND THE GUEST It's like we're a guests who can't escape the party!!!

Anonymous said...


1. being and underground protestor like SOPHIE SCHOLL
2. walking in the dark to find a place to die like the girl in SATANTANGO
3. being a good citizen against all the group ,but deep inside you choose side but too shame for accepting it like LAURA LINNEY in THE LARAMIE PROJECT
4. eating each other like the ending of WEEK-END
5. having sex!!! Like IN THE REALM OF THE SENSE
6. capturing this situation like what FAROCKI done in VIDEOGRAM OF REVOLUTION

Anonymous said...

7. In the late night of the riots, when every protestors are tired or already injured, Lead your soldiers to kill other wounded citizens like Dominic Blanc in Queen Margot.

8. Searching the news via internet and Lock your door all night like Prap Boonparn's The Peace Room.

celinejulie said...

--I wish I could have a choice like what a character does in THE ASSASSINATED SUN (2003, Abdelkrim Bahloul, A+++++). He escapes from his oppressive country, and shouts out loud that if he returns to his own country before he gets very old, he will let people spit on his face a thousand times.

I wish I could be an underground protestor like Sophie Scholl, but I am a coward person. I’m not brave enough. I prefer escaping from the country to changing it.

I think IN THE REALM OF THE SENSES is a very tempting choice, but I’m not sure what is more difficult for me: finding a handsome sex partner or fighting the fascists. Hahaha.

I also like THE PARTY AND THE GUEST very much. I think this film and HERO (2002, Zhang Yimou, B+) are fit for the theme “fascinating fascism”. I think a critic in Village Voice wrote about the fascism of HERO. When I saw HERO, I hate the character “King of Qin” very very very much. But when I read the comments in Pantip webboard, I was very surprised to find that many Thai viewers approve of what King of Qin does—killing a lot of innocent people with an excuse that it is done in the name of peace. I was surprised at that time that many Thai people think like that. Now I’m not surprised any more. If many Thai people approve of the fascistic acts in HERO, maybe it is not surprising that many Thai people support the PAD.

Anonymous said...

by the way, i vote for Cabaret and Music Box.

I like the gay issue in Cabaret very much. It may be first time on screen in my experience that i view Hollywood movie presents the bisexual man as its lead character.

For Music Box, i love love love this movie although i couldnt remember anything at all. I saw it on cable tv when i was a teenage girl (ha ha) and the last scene is so powerful. and i think Costa Gavras really understand how to make a political movies. Because in his own technique, Politics is so hurtful when it is individual issue. Espcially in this film the relationship between father and daughter is so hurtful, how can she lives her life when she cant trust her father anymore?

i try to write more and more in English. Starting by posting comments in your blog : )

celinejulie said...

I love MUSIC BOX very much. I think it is my most favorite film of all time about family relationship. According to my personal feelings, it is a perfect antidote to some of Yasujiro Ozu’s films. The loving relationships between father and daughter in some of Ozu’s films make me feel very bad because I can’t relate to it at all, but the relationship between father and daughter in MUSIC BOX makes me feel like heaven, because the daughter sent her criminal father to jail (I guess that what happens after she writes the letter to denounce her father). The world needs a heroine like this. I really wish that the world is full of people like her.

At first I want to include AMEN. (2002, Costa-Gavras, A) in the poll, too, because it presents some interesting aspects about Nazi and religion. But I decided to exclude it from the poll, firstly because Costa-Gavras is in the poll already, secondly because the theme about Nazi and religion is also dealth with in THE NINTH DAY.

Talking about religion and Nazi, I wish there is a religious seminar to discuss some of these topics:

1.Is closing the airport a sin? And how big is this sin?

2.Is denying the people’s right to vote a sin?

We all know that cheating for money is a sin and some politicians commit this sin, but it may be interesting to see some religious representatives talking about the above toipcs and see their weighing between the politicians’ sins and the fascists’ sins? Which groups commit heavier sins? How to specify an act as a sin if that act is not stated in their ancient sacred book?

Maybe some documentarians who happen to read this blog should make a documentary about this topic. I guess Pra Payom may want to comment on this topic.

Back to MUSIC BOX, I think Armin Mueller-Stahl is a very interesting actor. He stars in so many films about WWII.

This is the list of his films that I saw:

1.NAKED AMONG WOLVES (1963, Frank Beyer, A-)
It is about concentration camp.

2.JACOB THE LIAR (1975, Frank Beyer, A+/A)
It is about concentration camp.

3.VERONIKA VOSS (1982, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, A+/A)

4.THE WOUNDED MAN (1983, Patrice Chereau, A+)

5. A LOVE IN GERMANY (1983, Andrzej Wajda, A)
This is about a forbidden love in WWII, starring Hanna Schygulla.

6.ANGRY HARVEST (1985, Agnieszka Holland, A+)

7.KAFKA (1991, Steven Soderbergh)

8.THE HOUSE OF THE SPIRITS (1993, Bille August, A-)

9.THE GAME (1997, David Fincher, A/A-)

10.THE PEACEMAKER (1997, Mimi Leder, B+/B)

11.THE X-FILES (1998, Rob Bowman, A-)

12.JAKOB THE LIAR (1999, Peter Kassovitz, A-)

13.EASTERN PROMISES (2007, David Cronenberg, A+/A)

Though I saw 13 of his films, I think I can’t recognize his face.

celinejulie said...


Teeti said...

associating with both films and politics, your article quite interests me.
I found that your perspectives is not extream, so I would rather arouse you not to look upon red-shirted rally as national hostility because
1.Red have gathered much more peacefully than Yellow did. Tremendous numbers of Red has never performed illegally what has significant impacts on our nation, while Yellow evidently had weapon-holding guards and operated severe destruction toward not only NBT but Gov.house and Suwannaphumi.
2.What Red fights for is hopeful prosperity that Thais used to experience during the Thaksin's govermental term, wiping away camouflaged dictatorship, not for Thaksin but for democracy flourishing in the Thaksin's time.
Anyway, I am so tired of talking about Thai politic. Maybe I'll find some horror movie to watch like Wrong Turn...for easing any frustration about current tough situations.

celinejulie said...

I agree with you. I think I prefer the red to the yellow. I’m glad to find someone who think like you. I have been feeling a bit sad lately, because I have found out that 90 % of my friends seem to prefer the yellow to the red. Your comment cheers me up. :-)