Thai title: ทองปาน
English title: Tong Pan
Director: Euthana Mukdasanit,Surasee Phatham,Isan Group
Tong Pan is a poor peasant from Isan, Northeast area of Thailand. He has three kids and his wife is sick. He is now living in Chiang Khan as he has to move earlier from his former home flooded due to a dam construction. He is invited by a student to partipate to a seminar regarding the contruction of a new dam in Pak Chong area. He is going there hoping for changement into peasants' life. He is only a hired peasant, he has no more land. He got only 2000 Baht a year and cannot even get a forward payment from his greedy landlord to cure his sick wife. Following the October 1973 uprising, government wants to add more democracy in the decision making. Foreign engineer, professors, governmental agency officials, local inhabitants including Thong Pan join the seminar. The foreign engineer explains the great advantages of the dam from an economic point of view. But local inhabitants cannot understand spoken English! They use local Isan dialect. The governmental agency officials complain that nobody thinks about Thailand's future. It is good for the country for selling electricity abroad and anyway it is difficult to find advantages for all. The minority shall sacrifice it-self as long as it good for the majority. There is a parallel between the theory discussed at the seminar and the reality that local peasants are experimenting (houses and land flooded, no more water in rice fields during dry season and flood during rainy season as water is released from dam, no more fishes to catch, no trees to build house as forests have been cut, sickness, poverty, electricity for the rich not for the poor...). Finally participants remind that it should be good to get the feedback from locals. But Thong Pan is already gone as he knows nothing can change. One local raise that they want fertile land but also complains about officials corruption, thieves, illegal sawmills that cut forests, missing healthcare for them as they can never visit doctors. When Tong Pan reaches home, his wife is already dead. Tong Pan movie was banned following the 1976 demonstrations. Participants and directors were sent to jail or exiled following this 1976 uprising. The Culture Ministry registers 25 Thai classic films each year at the National Film Heritage Registry. This movie is part of the 25 films heritage list announced on 04 October 2011, which is Thai Movies Conservation Day.
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