The ancient story behind Thai film coming in December

A Thai film depicting a beloved character from the ancient Ramayana story is coming up in December. The film, titled “White Monkey” will be in cinemas on December 5.

The Ramayana is an ancient Sanskrit epic about Prince Rama’s quest to rescue his beloved wife Sita from his enemies. In the story, the white monkey is a Hindu god known as Hanuman, who helps Prince Rama on his mission to rescue Sita.

Hanuman is the child of the wind god, Vayu. When Hanuman was a child, the king of the gods struck him with a thunderbolt on his jaw. The word for jaw was hanu, inspiring Hanuman’s name. When Hanuman continues to misbehave, he is cursed into forgetting that he has magical powers.

Hanuman leads an army of monkeys to battle against Ravana, Sita’s captor. Jabavan, the king of the bears, lifts Hanuman’s curse, and Hanuman remembers that he has magical powers. He then uses his powers in battle.

The ancient story behind Thai film coming in December | News by Thaiger
Hanuman, photo by Hindu American.

The film next month will tell Hanuman’s story in Thai Khon performance, NNT reported. Khon, Thailand’s national performance art, is an ancient, dramatic dance performance. Performers wear traditional Thai clothing and gold crowns. Khon combines musical, vocal, literary, dance, ritual and handicraft elements. This style of performance dates back to the Ayutthaya period from 1352-1765.

The film’s khon performance will be combined with graphics and special effects. The film is a collaboration between the Thai Media Fund and private sector partners. It aims to preserve Thailand’s cultural heritage.

The ancient story behind Thai film coming in December | News by Thaiger
Khon performance, photo by Buriram Rajabhat University.

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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