BANGKOK — Raise your hands for “Selah” and nod sagely to yellow Bible verses on an ultramarine background – for three days, Kanye West’s experimental gospel film is coming to Thailand.
“Jesus is King” will screen at 7pm from Friday through Sunday at Siam Paragon, Major Cineplex Ratchayothin, and EmQuartier. Sunday’s EmQuartier screening will be followed by a discussion with Sittichoke “Champ” Serithornkul, a popular Thai Christian voice on social media.
“Believers will definitely be touched, but non-believers might find the film confusing, so we organized a film discussion afterwards,” Watcharasak Sonprint said by phone Tuesday. Watcharasak works at Christian Thai Subtitle, a group that organizes Christian film screenings.
Kanye West’s experimental, 38-minute concert film features the artist with Sunday Service, his gospel-rap group and is the cinematic accompaniment to his “Jesus is King” album, both released Oct. 25.
The film is only released in IMAX theaters, and was directed by Nick Knight and filmed at Roden Crater in Arizona. Kanye West’s born-again Christianity has been much-covered by the American press.
Christians in Thailand number around one percent, with Catholics and Protestants having roughly equal numbers of around 350,000 adherents. During Pope Francis’ visit in Thailand from Wednesday through Saturday, he also met with denominations of Thai Protestants.