• Young girl in lacy veil surrounded by deer - Come and See - THIS Buddhist Film Festival
  • Buddhist monks holding placards in front of military - Come and See - THIS Buddhist Film Festival
  • Dhammakaya devotees sitting in netted tents - Come and See - THIS Buddhist Film Festival

COME AND SEE

Sun 26 Sep | 12.45pm

Sat 2 Oct | 6.50pm

Watch In Cinema

Single Cinema Ticket: $13
Prices exclude SISTIC booking fees

SINGAPORE PREMIERE

Thailand | 2019 | 84 min | PG13: Some Mature Content

Thai with English subtitles

Directed by Nottapon Boonprakob

In Thailand where the major religion is Buddhism, one of the wealthiest and most controversial temples “Dhammakaya” is in crisis. Its 72-year-old abbot was charged with money laundering and receiving stolen property from one of his followers.

On June 16, 2016, the police arrived at the temple with a search warrant but faced resistance from thousands of disciples forming a human barricade, meditating to block the gate. They announced that the abbot was severely ill and would enter the judicial process only when the country returned to democracy.

COME AND SEE examines the conflict through the eyes of Bumpen, a 50-year-old woman who is now residing at the temple alongside thousands of devotees, to protect the convicted abbot from law enforcement by any means necessary.

By exploring the Dhammakaya belief system – which some Thais consider brainwashing – through the lives of current and former members, this film is the quintessential reflection on the clash in modern Thai society.

Sun 26 Sep | 12.45pm

Sat 2 Oct | 6.50pm

Watch In Cinema

Single Cinema Ticket: $13
Prices exclude SISTIC booking fees

Official Selection, Wide Angle Documentary Competition, Busan International Film Festival 2019

Post-Screening Dialogue

Come and See director Kai Nottapon Boonprakob - THIS Buddhist Film Festival

with director Nottapon Boonprakob

BOOK PAIRING

The Buddha and His Teachings
Author: Narada Mahathera
$18
Buy from Evergreen Buddhist Culture

DIRECTOR’S BIO

Come and See director Kai Nottapon Boonprakob - THIS Buddhist Film Festival

After his graduation in 2009, Nottapon Boonprakob started his career in filmmaking by working with GTH and GDH, acclaimed film studios in Thailand. He wrote two feature film scripts; Suckseed and May Who? which are both well received at the box office and film festivals all across Asia.

His first feature documentary 2,215 won several major film awards in Thailand and it is currently screening on Netflix (global). His latest work as scriptwriter and co-director for One for the Road, a feature film produced by Wong Kar-Wai was selected in competition at Sundance Film Festival 2021.

DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT

“Ehipassiko” is a Pali word used to describe the investigative nature of Buddhism. Discouraging blind faith, the Buddha encouraged his disciples to “come and see” his teachings for themselves, to witness the fruits of this practice through direct experience. Interestingly, Dhammakaya followers always refer to this word when the outsiders challenge them to prove the authenticity of their temple. Meanwhile, during this crisis, the abbot himself avoids being investigated by the law.

Cutting through layers of self-righteous mass media and colossal propaganda from the temple, I employ documentary filmmaking as a tool to question the authenticity of organised religion while also giving a voice to believers on both sides of the conflict. Since the act of filmmaking itself is the form of observing and investigating, as a Buddhist, this film will be my implementation of the salient words of the Buddha, to “come and see”.

PRINT SOURCE

Donsaron Kovitvanitcha
UnderDOC Film
underdocfilm@gmail.com

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