schedule

Tongpan

This “first (and after the military coup evidently the last) film by the Isan Film Group of Thailand, was one of the most impressive films of Edinburgh's first week. The film reconstructs a real event of Thailand's brief period of parliamentary democracy between 1973 and 1976, in Isan, a troubled and barren region in the North East of the country. Tongpan was a peasant who was recruited by eager young liberals to take part in a ‘seminar' on a proposed hydro-electric scheme in the district where he endeavoured to farm a little piece of land. The tragic gulf between the theory of the ‘seminar' and the reality of the peasant's lot only became apparent when Tongpan disappeared from the conference table. The students tried to find him, but Tongpan was never seen again. All they learned was that in his absence in the city his sick and starving wife had died. Recorded in grainy images on a deficient 16mm camera, filmed in the direct manner of the early Soviet silent cinema, the reconstruction of this simple incident has a quite unexpected force.”

This page may by only partially complete. For additional information about this film, view the original entry on our archived site.