‘History, I think, is really important in Thailand. [But Thai] people are not interested in history’ says recent NFSA intern Kedsuda Jina, a Film Archivist at the Thai Film Archive. ‘Many nitrate films have been lost. There is a really small awareness of the importance of film preservation.’
Many decades’ worth of historic film have been lost in Thailand and the struggle to save what is left is carried by the Thai Film Archive. Prior to the establishment of the archive in 1984, there was no agency in charge of preserving a film legacy dating back to the first years of motion pictures.
Among the Thai Film Archive’s major challenges are battles with heat, humidity and wider public indifference to film as cultural heritage.
As Sam Ho, writing in the Journal of Film Preservation in 2001 says, ‘the heritage of film in Asia is particularly fragile … not so much because of snobbish rejection of a new and popular medium but simply due to indifference.’