The Believers

The Believers

Belief is exploited for business in this audacious get-rich-quick scheme

7.7

TV Show

Thailand
Thai
Crime, Drama
2024
WATTANAPONG WONGWAN
Achiraya Nitibhon, Channarong Khuntee-tao, Chintara Sukapatana

TLDR

Monk Dol, you deserved better.

What it's about

When their NFT startup gets hacked, three young entrepreneurs Win, Game, and Dear stage a Buddhist temple scam to pay back their massive loan by the end of the month deadline.

The take

When people donate to temples, they rarely contemplate the way these donations are used for its upkeep and renovation, and they would never think to imagine the possibility of profit. Netflix Thai drama The Believers centers on three young entrepreneurs, who, due to debt, decide to partner up with an abandoned temple as a money making scheme. It’s an audacious scheme, one that, of course, terribly exploits its devotees. But the show also examines the ways these schemes help draw genuine devotees towards the religion, creating a mutualistic relationship between the temple and profiteers that can’t be easily undone. With the recent fraud investigations around Thai temples leading to controversial imprisonments a few years ago, The Believers is a timely examination of a rarely examined issue.

What stands out

The subject matter, of course. It’s rare to talk about it, and plenty of the necessary data isn’t widely available due to security reasons and the way devotion is ingrained within the culture, but The Believers keeps things respectful by making it clear that the people like the protagonists, not Buddhism itself, are the reason for the exploitation.

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