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Satire on chaos in Thai school system gets Singapore examination
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2022
A satirical comedy about the chaotic state of the Thai school system is set to premiere in Singapore, offering a stark contrast to the city-state’s world-beating education.
“Arnold is a Model Student” (PG13, 85 minutes) is “a growing-up story of a model student which develops into a critique of the repressive and corrupt education system in Thailand,” according to the Hong Kong Asian Film Festival, where it recently won the New Talent Award. “It strikes a perfect balance between outrage and irreverence,” the festival added.
The film was made by Thai director Sorayos Prapapan, who has won acclaim for his short movies at previous editions of the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF). One of them, the comedy “Death of the Sound Man”, picked up the Best Director (Southeast Asian Short Film) prize at the 2017 SGIFF and is available on streaming sites such as Vimeo.
“Arnold is a Model Student”, Sorayos’ first feature, was also selected for the prestigious Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland.
Singapore regularly appears top or near the top in global education rankings.
By contrast, Thailand’s education system ranks low, a result of rote learning and an emphasis on discipline and obedience over critical thinking, say critics. Thailand’s spending on education has also fallen from 28.4% of its GDP in 2000 to 12.1% in 2020, according to World Bank data.
Singaporeans will be treated to a question-and-answer session with the filmmaker after the December 3 screening at Golden Village Plaza in the heart of the city.
The film is showing from November 24 to December 4 at various locations across Singapore, including Filmgarde Kallang, Kallang Leisure Park, 5 Stadium Walk; and Golden Village Plaza, Plaza Singapura and 68 Orchard Road.
The Straits Times
Asia News Network