2004/Color/ sound/ 14.20 Min.
Second prize: 2nd Ethnic short Film Competition 2005, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Anthropology Centre, Bangkok, Thailand
Karen people as agriculturist, who once were living proudly and independently in the jungles and mountainous regions without any money, yet now struggle in a modern world and adopting superficial and consumerist values, where monetary importance plays a greater role than they are used to. What are the main influences? Also of significance, are the overall effects from the urban values of a modern society on the hill tribe peoples who have had to relocate to the urban low-lands?
For the better understanding of Thai hill tribes, especially Karen hill tribes which live in Chiangmai and whose population is continuously increasing. The documentary will illustrate the life styles of Karen hill tribes both in the jungle and in urban areas. Interviews with Karen hill tribes were conducted explaining how much they appreciate their motherland and their own culture. At the same time, they explain how hard they are struggling to live their life on an equal footing with national Thais in urban areas, namely Chiangmai city.
The creators of this document want to tell the audiences that the hill tribes are also human and they deserve better treat from people who insult or interfere with their lifestyle.
The purpose of making this film is to increase understanding and respect for the hill tribes residing in Thailand. Once the audiences see and hear from the hill tribes themselves, they will feel sympathy for their struggles with living in the city, and look at them with new respect and understanding that they have to move into urban areas due to the many problems they face in the rural areas.
Moreover, the audiences will hopefully recognize the hardships experienced by these people who once were living proudly and independently in the jungles and mountainous regions without any money, yet now struggle in a modern world and adopting superficial and consumerist values, where monetary importance plays a greater role than they are used to. What are the main influences? Also of significance, are the overall effects from the urban values of a modern society on the hill tribe peoples who have had to relocate to the urban low-lands.
In addition, the interviews will show their feelings toward their lost motherland and their life in the city.
Inspirations and experiences
The question of why the migration of the hill tribes has happened. What are the effects that have taken place since their moving into the city and how serious are these problems?
Experiences and Observations
- The comments of hill tribe persons, which illustrate that they do not receive equal services and recognition from the government body, nor from government officials in places such as educational institutions (teachers treating them badly that they are afraid to go to school), medical treatment facilities ( poor treatment received from hospitals that they still suffer from their illnesses and ailments).
- The Karen hill tribes are an agricultural people. Their farming techniques are to use a piece of land until its nutritional level is depleted, and then clear a fresh patch of land to start over with. After a period of seven years has transpired, they will then return to once again plough the previously tiled land. These farming methods are not appreciated nor accepted by mainstream Thais. The general view is that too much virgin jungle is logged (destroyed) by the hill tribes, and their farming practices are not only destructive but also primitive.
Information from the villagers of Pa-An, Omkoi district Chiangmai, from the researchers of The Unit for Social and Environmental Research (USER) Chiangmai university.
- Prof. William C.Clark and Kristen Eddy, Havard University, Unit for Social and Environmental Research (USER) Chiangmai University.
- Interviewee-Weera Pan-ng, Supak Pongpinitsri
- A resident of Chiangmai city-Orsiri Inthornchot
3 months (August-October 2547)
Problems and Obstructions
Language difficulties and traveling in the rainy season
The Producing Team
- Pre-production: Sutthirat Supaparinya,Piyawit Thongsa-Ard, Po Garden
- Concept and post production: Sutthirat Supaparinya
- Researcher:Charunee Chirangworapot, Drinya Totrakul, Po Garden
The project is supported by
Harvard University’s provost Fund for Innovation in Instructional Technology, William C.Clark, Harvay Brooks Professor of international Science, public Policy and human Development, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States.
Association with Unit for Social and Environmental Research, Chiang Mai (USER)
“Omkoi District, Pa-An Village” has shown in TK Park (Thailand Knowledge Park), Bangkok, Thailand, Bangkok Democrazy , Bangkok Experimental Film Festival (BEFF4) , Bangkok, 2nd Ethnic Film Festival, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Anthropology Centre, Bangkok, Thailand and Gwangju Arts & Cultural Council, Gwangju, Korea, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA