Arnold is a Model Student
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Winner of the Grand Prix of the 16th AFF Five Flavors, the top prize in the New Asian Cinema competition, awarded by the International People's Jury.
Arnold is a model student of one of the best high schools in Bangkok. His grades are great, he wins school competitions every year, and he got a prestigious stipend in the US. And though he is a charismatic urchin who likes making fun of both his friends and the slightly helpless teachers, his achievements allow him to get away with it. The problematic moment comes when Arnold realizes he doesn’t really know what he wants to do in life, which pushes him towards some illegal scams. On top of that, the school is shaken by a student rebellion, fueled by the escalating restrictions.
In his debut, Sorayos Prapapan proposes a fresh look at the coming-of-age genre, set in Thai modernity. Initially made based on the real events of 2014, when students participated in the protests that ended in a coup, the script of Arnold is a model student ended up talking about the Bad Student movement and the events of 2020, when young people took to the streets to protest against the school dictatorship. Prapapan smoothly combines a fictional tale about generational fears with a documentary record of the protests. The hybrid approach to film matter, the elliptic structure of the narration, and the biting humor set Arnold is a model student apart from other contemporary Thai films. This ironic pseudo-comedy also features the incredibly accurate feeling of uncertainty towards the future of Thailand – a country that seems to be stuck in a loop of history.
Born in 1986, Thai director, editor, sound designer, and producer. He created a number of shorts that were screened at the festivals in Venice, Locarno, Rotterdam, and Clermont-Ferrand. Arnold is a Model Student, his feature debut, was shown in Locarno’s main competition. According to Prapapan, film became a form of rebellion against the government indoctrination and propaganda that have long been present in the Thai education system.
2016 Raksa dindaen / Fat Boy Never Slim (short)
2017 Death of the Sound Man (short)
2022 Arnold jest wzorowym uczniem / Arnold is a Model Student