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  • LIFESTYLE

    Doc lovers rejoice!

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 18/03/2016

    » It is high time for audiences who appreciate the rough-edged reality of documentary films. Of the five nominees of the Oscar for best documentary feature, three had a regular release in Bangkok cinemas (Amy, Cartel Land, The Look of Silence), something unthinkable a few years ago when no distributor wanted to risk showing non-fiction films in cinemas. Now there is almost always at least one documentary film at SF CentralWorld, with the initiation of the independent outfit Documentary Club (in the programme now is The Hunting Ground, about rape crimes in American universities).

  • OPINION

    Fear of social change a step back

    News, Kong Rithdee, Published on 09/08/2014

    » Those who live permanently in the past can't see the inevitability of the present. Those who worship the stegosaurus would do something so comical, so anachronistic as banning a computer game that most people have never heard of, prompting nearly everyone to hear about it and wanting to play it — just for kicks, just for a slap to the face, just to prove that techno-terrorism will leave the dinosaurs behind. In the world of bandwidth, in a time when information always slips through the iron fist like water or like pus, in short, in the downloadable, Wiki-leakable 21st century — banning data is the practice of ants trapped in prehistoric amber.

  • NEWS

    Finding salvation for the South

    News, Kong Rithdee, Published on 20/02/2017

    » When Muhammad Anwar bin Ismael Hajiteh was released on Jan 7 on a royal pardon, activists and civic groups in the deep South greeted the news with jubilation.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Deep trouble

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 25/06/2018

    » He got up close with a 13m whale shark near the Galapagos and swam with a curious hunchback whale in Tonga. "She was larger than a bus," he said, "the largest animal I've ever seen." At Burma Banks in the Indian Ocean, he drifted with sharks and at Similan Islands he realised that the coral reefs in the Thai seas were among the most beautiful in the world.

  • LIFESTYLE

    The human condition, from a distance

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 21/12/2017

    » Ai Weiwei's Human Flow is a film that spans the latitudes of a mural painting, vast and long, covering one end of the Earth to the other, many times with a top-down view. This documentary about forcibly displaced people around the world -- from Syria and Iraq, from Eritrea to Mexico -- plays out in the broad scope of Refugee 101, and it works as a (very long) campaign presentation of United Nations High Commission of Human Rights (UNHCR).

  • OPINION

    Image, faith and the age of intolerance

    News, Kong Rithdee, Published on 17/10/2015

    » At some point, religion breeds a culture of intolerance. It then becomes a form of absolutism, all the more toxic in the climate of nationalist fervour and dictatorial bombast. See the Holy Roman Empire in the Middle Ages, the Wahabism of present-day Saudi Arabia, or in some parts of Buddhist Myanmar. Now bravo, Thailand is flirting with that fundamentalist trap — we’re not quite there yet, thank heaven, though the door has swung open and the chanting has already begun.

  • TRAVEL

    Poles Apart

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 16/05/2013

    » The spirit of rebirth is almost palpable as you walk the streets and hear the stories of Warsaw. Wiped off the map in the 19th century, reduced to ashes by German planes and panzers in 1939 and consigned to suspended animation during the four decades of repressive Stalinist rule that followed, this metropolis _ and the country of which it is capital _ has endured a succession of traumatic misfortunes that it has somehow survived, integrity intact, to reassert its proud identity in the 21st century.

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