The Conman and the Sea

Documentary Film  (90 Minutes)

TYPE                                     :           FEATURE DOCUMENTARY

GENERAL                             :          ANTHROPOLOGY , ART&CULTURE

SYSTEM                               :           Full HD

LENGTH                                :          90 Minutes

BROADCASTING                 :         Thailand / Worldwide

Language                              :         English

PRODUCTION PERIOD      :         2017

(Currently in production)



Salama is the old Moken who loves to tell the unbelievable stories of his Sea Gypsy’s life to the tourist without forgetting to end the talk by asking for a bottle of beer! As the funny conman in the eyes of tourist, in fact, he is the Moken’s leader who saved everybody on Surin Islands in southern Thailand from Tsunami in 2004.

His wisdom could safe people’s life but unfortunately it couldn’t safe himself from the unfair changing world that came later.

In the darkest moment of their life, Surin Islands National Park offered “help” that brought 70 Moken families from the vast ocean to settle down on a little beach and live their lives far from the sea. The new infrastructure such as electricity, water supply, and toilet was popped up by the donated money from private sector. Moken men work as employee for travel agency while women work as dish washers for National Park tourist center. Now they can earn money and have many modern things like people on the main land.

During this development, it seems like there is something missing.

Under the National Park regulations, fishing, logging wood, and wandering across the ocean is illegal. The freedom to live their traditional life was detained. A dream house became a cage. The village became a human zoo. When sea gypsies don’t live in the sea anymore, their skill and wisdom of the ocean that were transmitted for more than thousand years are going to be fading away


The real Moken fights in the sea. This believe remains in the heart of Salama, the last generation of original Moken, and reminds him to do something to bring the spirit of sea gypsy back to Moken community again. He decides to unite all the scattered young Moken by holding the long lost traditional ceremony, Lo Bong.

Lo Bong is the floating boat ceremony that Moken people together build a replica boat carrying their hair or nail and float it in the sea to the direction they believe their ancestor came from. The mantra and the detail of this ceremony is still clear in Salama’s memory.


However, this is not going to be an easy job. When all things he needs for the ceremony such as wood for the totems or a turtle for the sacrifice are now protected under the regulation of National Park, the art of negotiation with a little bit of trick is going to be used.

Experience a story of the incompatible relationship between the indigenous cultural protection, the natural preservation, and the rapid changing world through various eyes and decide by yourself

“Who is the real conman?