DER Documentary

Ghosts and Numbers

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by Alan Klima
color, 67 min, 2009

Non-profit, K-12, and Individual pricing also available
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Set in the aftermath of the devastating financial crash of the Thai baht and the Asian monetary crisis, Ghosts and Numbers is a fantastic meditation on Thai encounters with the spirit world and the world of numbers, as these intersect in unexpected ways.

The film journeys with displaced farmers who can no longer work the land for a living and can only eek one out by selling lottery tickets on Bangkok streets. They are double-threatened by an impending conversion of the Thai national lottery to completely virtual form, displacing the paper ticket and cutting them out of the economy of numbers altogether. Intercut with the story of migrant lottery sellers are the stories of an avid lottery seller who communicates with spirits and the story of the devastating financial crash visually represented through a surreal journey through Bangkok streets.

The film includes an amazing possession sťance that is boosted by mobile technology and also relates stories of ghosts and haunting that span past and present and which are set among frightful trees in the country and ruined buildings in Bangkok, left half-built after the financial crash. The dream-like passages are presented by an ambiguous narrator who takes on increasingly spectral form in the stories she tells.

Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
Society for Visual Anthropology Film Festival, 2006
Kundsthaus, Dresden Germany, exhibit "New Ghost Entertainment Entitled", 2007
San Francisco Independent Film Festival, 2007

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