This cinematic danse macabre, or dance of death, is a frenzied collage of suspicious deaths that have occurred in Thailand over the last 90 years. Kings, citizens and stateless individuals all died here on a piece of land where members of the royal family come on vacation. Danse Macabre begins with a prologue about a Thai law, stating that a film may be banned if it is “offensive to moral decency, national security or the monarchy.” The film then proceeds to intentionally, and bravely, flout all those rules.
This is a daring mix of archive material depicting extreme violence and explicit pornography interspersed with homoerotic dance scenes and video clips. Danse Macabre also shows us violent acts committed by the Thai state, including the bloodbaths of 1976, 1992 and 2010, right up to the recent suppression of student protests. Footage of riot police firing water cannons is accompanied by music from The Subtitle Project—the Thai title of this track, meaning “loop,” is a reference to the cyclical nature of violent state oppression.