The 2011 New Year celebration at the Ratchaprasong Junction in Bangkok. This is where demonstrators’ protests were violently crushed a few months earlier, with more than 100 people ending up dead. It was there that the conflict between the largely rural "red shirts" and the more affluent, royalist "yellow shirts" escalated. How did this come to pass? Filmmaker Nontawat Numbenchapol came across young soldier Aod by chance, who had just completed his military service, and asked if he could accompany the soldier on his way home. Aod’s village is on the border to Cambodia and near the Hindu temple of Prasat Preah Vihea, which both countries claim as their own. Here too, a violent conflict is smouldering. A conversation between Aod and Nontawat Numbenchapol forms the backdrop to the often slowed down and distorted images as they travel through the countryside. Residents and soldiers tell of their experiences. Traces of the military conflict are visible. The footage creates a multifaceted view of how events are subject to different perceptions and is a unique reflection of the political reality in present-day Thailand.
by Nontawat Numbenchapol
with Sitthipong Junthasuk
Thailand / Cambodia / France 2013