Following the lively discussion generated by the recent New Mandala post on “Thai cinematic war with Burma”, many readers will no doubt be interested in Daniel Ten Kate’s recent Asia Sentinel piece. His article focusses on the status of Chatrichalerm Yukol’s films in the Thai black-market. According to the report:
… even though The Legend of King Naresuan proved one of the biggest draws in Thailand, a pirated copy is nearly impossible to find.
“It’s nowhere,” says one illegal DVD retailer in Bangkok’s notorious Patpong district. “In Thailand we respect the king. Nobody dares to make a copy.”
It’s not entirely true that no copies have been made, as recently the police raided an apartment on the outskirts of Bangkok and found 4,500 pirated VCDs of the King Naresuan films. But that find was rare and surprised many police officials, industry executives said.
By all accounts, most pirates have agreed to avoid copying the flag-waving films directed by Chatrichalerm Yukol, a prince’s son. The military leaders have lauded the patriotism of the movies…
…Another film directed by Chatrichalerm a few years back called The Legend of Suriyothai received similar treatment from DVD pirates. It also dealt with Thais fighting against Burmese invaders, and served as a prelude to The Legend of King Naresuan.
Daniel Ten Kate’s full article is certainly worth a read