Thai Film Without History

“Though the last few seasons have witnessed unprecedented international circulation and acclaim for Thai cinema, Thai films have not traditionally been stamped for export. Indeed, though film production in Thailand reached an all-time high of more than 200 features a year in the mid-70s, most of them were made with a kind of haplessly self-engendered expiration date: shot without synchronised sound on 16mm colour reversal stock, there was never an original negative to hold on to, let alone archive. Thai Film Archive director Dome Sukwong today suggests that 75% of all Thai films ever made are already lost; no wonder a comprehensive history of Thai cinema – in Thai or any other language – has yet to be written.”