Ratana Pestonji and Santi Vina : Exploring the ‘Master’ of Thai Cinema during Thailand’s ‘American Era’

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingBook Chapterpeer-review


In recent years there has been a surge of interest in and recognition of post-World War II Thai filmmaker Ratana Pestonji (1908-1970), who often takes pride of place in narratives of Thai film history as a rare early Thai auteur untouched by the trappings of commercial filmmaking and bravely fighting against the monopolizing Hollywood system. This chapter seeks to clarify Pestonji’s activities during the crucial and politically complex 1950s post-war period. Drawing largely upon historical sources and accounts from America, the chapter highlights Pestonji’s close relationship with Hollywood filmmakers based in Thailand, suggesting that Pestonji’s history and relationship with Hollywood studios in the early 1950s could potentially undermine posthumous nationalist constructions of this filmmaker.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSoutheast Asia on Screen : From Independence to Financial Crisis (1945-1998)
EditorsGaik Cheng Khoo, Thomas Barker, Mary J. Ainslie
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherAmsterdam University Press
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9789048541904
ISBN (Print)9789462989344
Publication statusPublished - 3 Aug 2020

Publication series

NameAsian visual cultures


  • Southeast Asia
  • film
  • economic crisis
  • national cinema
  • historical development


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