Mekhong Full Moon Party
( or Sibha kham doan sib ed
, literally "15th day, 11th month") is a 2002 Thai comedy
about the Naga fireballs
that arise from the Mekong
at Nong Khai
on the full moon
in October. Written by Jira Maligool
, the film was also Jira's directorial debut.
The film takes a semi-documentary
approach to its subject, examining the phenonmenon and its accompanying festival, which draws thousands of people to Nong Khai each year, as well as providing a glimpse at Isan
culture, Thai folklore and such practices as eating insects
Khan, a Nong Khai
native now attending university in Bangkok
comes home for the annual Naga fireballs
festival, just as a debate is raging over the cause of the fireballs. A local physician, Dr. Nortai, believes there is a scientific explanation for the phenomenon. A university professor, Dr. Suraphol, thinks the fireballs are manmade and are a hoax.
Khan knows the truth: Having grown up as a dek wat
at a Buddhist
temple across the river in Laos
, he helped the temple's abbot and the monks there to create fireballs and plant them on the bed on the Mekong
. It is how he grew up to become such a strong swimmer and obtain an athletic scholarship.
The temple's abbot, Luang Poh Loh, seeks Khan out and begs him to once again help with the planting of the fireballs. But Khan, weary of perpetuating a myth and of the crowds that accompany it, refuses.
This sets up a conflict between science and religion that threatens to change the... Read More