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Thai films struggle at home amid international praise

Pandemic-related cinema closures threaten local movie renaissance

Thai film "Anatomy of Time," directed by Jakrawal Nilthamrong, will have its world premiere at the Venice International Film Festival on Sept. 10. Domestic screenings, however, will have to wait while theaters remain closed due to the pandemic. (Courtesy of Diversion, Damned Films, Sluizer Film Productions, M'GO Films, Mit Out Sound Films)

BANGKOK -- Thai cinema is riding a wave of international critical attention, but the pandemic-related closure of movie theaters in the country has clouded the outlook for Southeast Asia's most vibrant film industry.

On Sept. 10, the 78th Venice International Film Festival will host the premiere of the Thai film "Anatomy of Time" (2021), a ruminative drama about old age, memory and the tyranny of time. But the film's critical success coincides with uncertainty about the future of Thai cinemas, which have been closed for four months because of COVID-19.

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