The historical battle epic set in 8th century southern China was supposed to open in cinemas today, which was unusual to start with, since most movies are released on Thursdays in Thailand.
But with the red-shirt political protesters occupying the Rajprasong shopping intersection, prompting the surrounding malls and big multiplexes to close or curtail their hours, Kantana obviously felt the time wasn't right to release the film.
I've been told that the release has been shifted to April 28 or 29.
It's ironic that the film's release is being postponed due to the political protests because the movie's main message is one of "united we stand, divided we fall" as it depicts the six ancient tribes of the Tai people failing to pull together so they could defeat the invading Han forces. According to legend, the Tais eventually migrated south from China to the land we know today as Thailand.
The "Thais love Thais" message was echoed in another blood-soaked historical battle epic, Bang Rajan 2, which was released two weeks ago.
Kong Rithdee addressed the trend in an article in yesterday's Bangkok Post. He quotes the directors of both films:
Our message is clear: we have to love our country and end this conflict,'' says director Nirattisai Kaljaruek of Kon Tai Ting Pan Din [literally "Tai people leaving their land"] "I didn't plan to coordinate the film's release with the current protests, but I realise that what the movie is saying is very topical."
Bang Rajan 2 director Thanit Jitnukul is more blunt: ''My intention in making the movie is to criticise today's society,'' he says. ''In the past when people fought, they had a reason _ they were protecting the land. Now we fight for no reason. We're destroying what our forefathers died to preserve.''
Read the rest for more from the directors as well as comments from a political scientist who puts the current movies in historical context and contrasts them with 1941's King of the White Elephant, which is perhaps what cinemas ought to be showing instead.
By the way, I've actually seen Kon Thai and had a review in The Nation on Thursday. It's behind the paper's experimental paywall now, but a bit closer to the release date, whenever that is, I'll cross-publish it here.