Soi Chang elephants on the street.
Lee, Lay Ming.
Low, Ting Yi.
Tan, Phoebe Shu Wei.
Date of Issue2010
Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information
Soi Chang is a documentary about street elephants and their caretakers, known as mahouts, in Thailand. Spanning across Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Surin, the film lends voice to the most important person of all in the issue of street begging – the street mahout. Elephants dragged onto the streets to beg for loose change is a sight that many tourists to Thailand are familiar with. Once warriors on battlefields and faithful servants to loggers, the Asian elephants today are little more than money-making tools. With the introduction of the logging ban in 1989, elephants lost their jobs and mahouts are left with no option but to bring their charges out to beg on the streets when they realised the profitability of the trade. As novelty of street elephants dwindles, the mahouts carry on in this occupation because they have no other skills to support their families and themselves. Through the eyes of mahouts,conservationists and government authorities, we explore the controversial issue of street begging elephants in Thailand. Understand the struggle between preserving centuries’ old traditions and succumbing to modern-day realities, learn the story behind a mahout dragging his elephant to beg on the streets or work at tourist attractions, and mull over the future of these endangered gentle giants in Thailand.
DRNTU::Social sciences::Mass media::Broadcasting::Motion pictures and films::Documentary
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University