Ten Years Thailand (Rating 3)
(Reviewed by John Glennie)
The official promo states “Four Thai directors – Aditya Assarat, Wisit Sasanatieng, Chulayarnnon Siriphol and Apichatpong Weerasethakul – imagine what their country may look like in ten years time, following the format of the controversial Hong Kong anthology film Ten Years (2015). Direct from Cannes, this instalment offers visions of repressive censorship, oppressive martial rule and surreal feline overlords that reflect the political tumult of today’s Thailand.”
Basically it is four separate short stories. The first – according to the credits, is titled ‘Sunset’ (but no idea why!) – involving the Thai militia visiting an exhibition by a famous photographer. There have been complaints about the content, one photo showing a crying police officer in a Burger King, which the photographers take down for fear of stronger measures – hence the repressive censorship.
The next scene (‘Catopia’) showed a human (the last one?) in a world of cats, reminiscent of ‘Planet of the Apes’, where the residents have human bodies and clothes but the heads of cats. To me, that is where things started to get weird, and it went downhill from there.
After an abrupt end the movie went to scene three ‘Planetarium’ which was totally weird. I think this would be depicting the oppressive martial rule. Humans being monitored via video surveillance where the lady can press the pause button on her phone and everything stops until she presses Play again. The events taking place throughout this scene have me stumped though.
The final scene ‘Song of the City’ had be totally bamboozled – I have no idea what it was supposed to represent. It showed a few people having strange conversations at a construction site around a monument of someone (obviously) famous.
The movie came to an abrupt (unfinished?) ending – as did all four scenes – and I was left thinking “what the hell was that all about?”. Perhaps I am missing something which may be symbolic of Thai culture but I really hope that my rating doesn’t put you off. Hopefully someone can set me straight on the meaning of the four scenarios.