A wave of ultranationalism seized Bangkok, driving fear and an us-vs-them attitude which had recently led to the massacre of more than 100 people – mostly students – at Thammasat University.
The year was 1977 and Brian Cronly of Ireland was in Bangkok on holiday. Fortunately for us, he brought his Super 8 camera to document scenes from life around the city.
Years later, in 2011, his friend Allesandro Molatore found Conly’s footage and was inspired to edit it into a four-minute movie. As expected in the footage, there’s a lot more green and certainly more bellbottoms. But what’s striking is how similar the motions of human life remain despite the distance of four decades.
Molatore’s Cacti Films has created several other documentaries in Southeast Asia about drug trafficking along the Cambodian-Thai border, Filipinos who live in a cemetary and street children in Manila.