On Monday 13 November 2023, Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Communication Arts and Faculty of Arts, in collaboration with the Embassy of the Czech Republic in the Kingdom of Thailand, organised the screening and post-screening discussion of Cosy Dens (Pelíšky), a 1999 film by Jan Hřebejk, at Dr Thiam Chokwatana Auditorium, Faculty of Communication Arts, Chulalongkorn University. This event was held in commemoration of the 55th Anniversary of the Warsaw Pact Invasion of Czechoslovakia.
To mark the occasion, Associate Professor Preeda Akarachantachote, PhD, Dean of the Faculty of Communication Arts, and Associate Professor Suradech Chotiudompant, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, gave their welcome remarks. His Excellency Pavel Pitel, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to the Kingdom of Thailand, in turn, delivered the opening speech. This was followed by a statement made by Mr Pavlo Orel, Chargé d’affaires a.i. of Ukraine, who presided over the event as special guest.
The screening of Cosy Dens (Pelíšky) was followed by a panel discussion on the topic of “1968 on Screen and Parallels in the Current World”. The panellists comprised His Excellency Pavel Pitel, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to the Kingdom of Thailand, Mr Michal Švéda, Deputy Head of Mission of the Czech Embassy in Bangkok, Assistant Professor Sopawan Boonnimitra, PhD, Head of the Motion Pictures and Still Photography Department, Faculty of Communication Arts, Krittapas Lersvananont, Tanatat Khuttapan and Adisorn Klomkleaw, Students from the Motion Pictures and Still Photography Department, Faculty of Communication Arts, and Associate Professor Verita Sriratana, PhD, Lecturer at the Department of English, Faculty of Arts.
The Q&A session featured a thought-provoking discussion on not only the literary as well as cinematic representation of the Prague Spring and the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia, but also the significance of 1968 on one’s understanding of the current Russian invasion of Ukraine. Apart from parallels of 1968 in Thailand’s political history, the issues of gender and nostalgia presented in the film, which had been analysed in an article (in Thai) entitled “Beyond Nostalgia and Longing for Life under Communism (which no one in our generation could recall)” by Associate Professor Verita Sriratana, PhD, published earlier on the101.world media platform (see https://www.the101.world/pelisky/), were raised and elaborated by the audience and guest speakers.
This screening event was attended by around 50 participants.