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‘Breaking the Cycle,’ Thai Doc Charting Rise and Fall of Country’s Pro-Democracy Parties, Gets Rare Theatrical Release: ‘Our Future Has Been Lost’

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Patrick Frater Asia Bureau Chief Thailand has some of the most comfortable cinemas in the world, but a film release slate that rarely strays far from the mainstream – mostly Hollywood tentpoles and Thai commercial titles – leaving art-house and documentaries short shrift.

So, the Thursday arrival in Thai cinemas of a documentary feature is a welcome exception to the rule. The politically-charged “Breaking the Cycle,” by Aekaphong Saransate and Thankrit Duangmaneeporn, then is aptly named.

Having had its premiere at Hot Docs in Canada, it now opens on 150 screens across Thailand, in movies houses controlled by the Major Cineplex and SF Cinemas duopoly.

The film is pitched as “capturing the political awakening among Thais after the rise and fall of Thanathorn, a young politician who calls to end the cycle of coups d’etat in the 2019 election.” More than that, it is a portrait of the generational, social and aspirational divide between a social media-savvy younger population and Thailand’s intensely conservative ruling class, which controls all the levers of power.

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