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PLAYING WITH FIRE In Mekong Full Moon Party , this year's surprise Thai hit film about the Naga fireballs, a hapless television journalist is desperate to expose the phenomenon as a hoax. A month after the movie's October release, Thai television station ITV screened a documentary claiming that the fireballs were merely AK-47 tracer rounds fired by bored Lao soldiers on the opposite bank of the river. Mere coincidence? Or are strange, dark forces at work?

Director Jira Malikul's whimsical feature posits that the fireballs are set off by Lao monks, not soldiers. The dreamy opening sequence follows...

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