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“A family that struggles to find the missing phone of their 10-year old daughter that had posted a strange message”. Montika Khamon’s video installation derives from her personal experience under the current political climate and her attempts to address the long obscured “collective fears” coming to surface in recent years. The project aims to gain autonomy amidst and from the entangled web of fears in wandering through its roots. Utilizing filmmaking processes and theatre methodologies to get a glimpse of the giant that is buried in the backs of all of our minds. 

Collective fear came from the way dictatorship has been publicized in Thai society in terms of how it has been used to combat against opposite political ideology (those against monarchism, feudalism and totalitarianism). This has been made present through “emotional regime” as a tool to devise a plan or standard of emotions, meaning that emotional regime directs what you feel and fear.

 

The Buried Giant

a film by Montika Kham-on

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Collective fear is a part of the “pathic nationalism” concept, meaning a nationalism that is constructed of the collective fear of those living in the country. When fear is the basis for pride and love. This is engrained in the fear of people losing their privileged status they once had with the chaining of societies and trends. This can lead to achieving political goals in which turning the said fear into power of destruction that destroy the peace and order.

 

In creating awareness for society aside from directing unnatural emotions, it can also lead to unnatural behavior as well. For example, cinemas in Thailand have a archaic rule for people to stand up when they hear the king’s anthem and everyone needs to follow the rule and stand to pay the respect even though it’s a place filled with chairs. This action has been made a norm for so long and makes it an “absurd” act. Unnatural behavior can be viewed as part of violence and leads to confusion because when that unnatural behavior becomes the norm of society , it leads to society that’s unable to distinguish what is normal and abnormal. Furthermore, another factor that contributes directly to the human behavior is “lèse majesté law” that has created confusion and fear in society because it can’t be examined and doesn’t have clear criterion. The absurdity of this law makes the society fell in to the state of sentimental / affective and ultimately conservative community. 

THE BURIED GIANT

Two-channel video installation
9min loop
2021

 

Credit

Director | Montika Kham-on

Producer | Teeraphat Thirawat

Director of Photography | Am Picha

Focus Puller | Sahassawat Suksai

Gaffer | Sanchai Chutcharingul

Sound man | Tanbhiti Supatwanich

Boom operator | Rasita Lertvalaikul

DIT | Sanchai Chutcharingul

Colorist | Sanchai Chutcharingul

Special Thanks

Pongsakorn Yananissorn, Wirunwan Pitaktong, Unchalee Anantawat, Nawin Nuthong, Podcharakrit To-im

With the support of Speedy Gandma and Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development