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THAI SOCIAL MOVIES

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Social problem films (หนังสะท้อนสังคม or หนังสะท้อนปัญหาสังคม) can be political or underground movies. They were produced for the purpose of consciousness raising. These movies were popular among left wing students, activists and labour unions. They targeted corruption within the bureaucracy, the influence of capitalism and the struggle of poor people. Directors like Cherd Songsri, Dokdin Kalyamal, Surasee Phatham, Yuthana Mukdasanit, MC Chatrichalerm Yukol, to cite just a few, made their names from movies dealing with rural stories. Many of them were social commentaries.

ไฟเย็น
ไฟเย็น

Year: 1965

Thai title: ไฟเย็น
English title: Fai Yen

Rating: 5/5
Director:

Main actor:
Main actress:

Thai movie ไฟเย็น - Fai Yen was released in year 1965. This propaganda film is happening during Cold War. Fai Yen is a children Thai game name. A burning match needs to be extincted before it is too late. Teacher Pol is living in an Isan village. He is well respected by all villagers. He is always giving advices and help to local people. He is having a teenage daughter. Boon Nam is a young teenager, who has never caused harm to anybody in the village and is taking care of his elderly mum. But Boon Nam is worried about his future. It just seems blank to him, remaining poor and unable to marry the teacher's daughter. He listens to a friend Vichai telling him that other countries are rich and taking good care of their citizen. He shares his thoughts with the teacher. The teacher is also worried about communist influence trying to destroy Thailand through Isan region being a poor area. He encourages people to love nation (รักชาติ), Buddhism (under jeopardy as communism hates religions) and monarchy. Government is working hard thanks to the taxes money but it takes time as Isan is a big poor region. Boon Nam shall avoid taking the wrong path (นาทีต่อบ้านเมือง). สหาย Vichai is discussing strategy with Thai communist guerilla. Teacher Pon, ผู้ใหญ่บ้าน, the abbot are main obstacles as villagers are listening to them and explaining that the government is investing in Isan development. American government is helping a lot. Communist guerilla relies on lies (new roads are built for easier access to army and police, more productivity means more taxes to the government...), fear to get food from villagers and additional young men to join them. The guerilla attacks the village and requests food. Boon Nam joins them expecting to change his life. But he is disappointed seeing they even rob and kill innocent merchant to get food or kill each other if orders are not properly respected. A relative of Boon Nam already present in communist guerilla recommends him to flee as communists are liars, have no belief in family ties and are traitors to the nation (คนขายชาติ). Meanwhile Thai police investigates on the village attack and arrest Vichai. Communist guerrilla leader is upset that villagers warned the police. He wishes to teach a lesson (สั่งสอน) to villagers and get rid of the teacher. Boon Nam flees from the guerrilla per his relative's advice. Guerilla storms the village and sentences teacher Pol to death. Hopefully police warned by Boon Nam arrives on time and kills the communists. This movie was shot for Thai people to realize the dangers of the communism. The Culture Ministry registers 25 Thai classic films each year at the National Film Heritage Registry. This movie is part of the 25 films heritage list announced on 04 October 2011, which is Thai Movies Conservation Day.

การต่อสู้ของกรรมกรหญิงโรงงานฮาร่า
การต่อสู้ของกรรมกรหญิงโรงงานฮาร่า

Year: 1975

Thai title: การต่อสู้ของกรรมกรหญิงโรงงานฮาร่า
English title: The Factory Workers of Hara

Rating: 5/5
Director: Jon Ungpakorn

Main actor:
Main actress:

This documentary is about the struggle of Hara workers factory. Hara was a factory producing jeans at low price and selling them at high price. Jeans were advertised as being imported from abroad to justify high selling price but they were produced in Thailand! The owner was a Taiwanese citizen and he had factories in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong. Workers only got 25 baht a day (minimum imposed by working laws) but the factory deducted rice meals cost (1.5 baht per meal). Most of the 200 workers were coming from various Thai provinces and were women. Even some teens about 14~15 years old were working. The factory offered no social benefits (สวัสดิการ), no water, no medicine box and only one toilet for 200 people. Most of the workers chose to be paid by piece manufactured in order to be able to get 150~200 baht a month thanks to overtime. Salary was often paid late or delayed. A dormitory was provided but it looked like a shack. Fed up by their working conditions, workers entered a strike in October 1975. As negotiations failed, workers were beaten once but continued to occupy the factory. The local police didn't help as they received bribe money from the employer. The workers finally sold some 20 baht shares to the public to be able to relaunch the factory and to sell cheap clothes (60~70 baht instead of 200~400 baht) to the public. It was called the United Labourers Factory (กรรมกรหญิงโรงงานฮาร่า). The “The Factory Workers of Hara” movie is a 55mn documentary about a struggle over control of a garment factory in Nakhon Pathom. The film consists of interviews with workers directly involved with the conflict. Finally women workers at Hara Jeans occupied their factory and ran it as a cooperative until it was destroyed by the police and workers put to jail. The documentary ends up on the legal fighting between the workers and their employer, who refused to hire them back despite agreement with labour department. This was illegal. If they lost, workers should go to jail. If the employer lost, he would have to pay a fine as wealthy people cannot go to jail according to the workers accused to be communists. This documentary, done by cinematographer Jon Ungpakorn, is part of the first 25 films heritage list announced in 2011. This movie was selected on October 4 2011, which is Thai Movies Conservation Day. การต่อสู้ของกรรมกรหญิงโรงงานฮาร่า remains a major political film with a strong leftist view. John Ungpakorn is now a senator and AIDS activist. This movie was shown around factories and encouraged labor workers to stand up and fight against injustice.

ทองปาน
ทองปาน

Year: 1976

Thai title: ทองปาน
English title: Tong Pan

Rating: 5/5
Director: Euthana Mukdasanit,Surasee Phatham,Isan Group

Main actor:
Main actress:

Tong Pan is a poor peasant from Isan, Northeast area of Thailand. He has three kids and his wife is sick. He is now living in Chiang Khan as he has to move earlier from his former home flooded due to a dam construction. He is invited by a student to partipate to a seminar regarding the contruction of a new dam in Pak Chong area. He is going there hoping for changement into peasants' life. He is only a hired peasant, he has no more land. He got only 2000 Baht a year and cannot even get a forward payment from his greedy landlord to cure his sick wife. Following the October 1973 uprising, government wants to add more democracy in the decision making. Foreign engineer, professors, governmental agency officials, local inhabitants including Thong Pan join the seminar. The foreign engineer explains the great advantages of the dam from an economic point of view. But local inhabitants cannot understand spoken English! They use local Isan dialect. The governmental agency officials complain that nobody thinks about Thailand's future. It is good for the country for selling electricity abroad and anyway it is difficult to find advantages for all. The minority shall sacrifice it-self as long as it good for the majority. There is a parallel between the theory discussed at the seminar and the reality that local peasants are experimenting (houses and land flooded, no more water in rice fields during dry season and flood during rainy season as water is released from dam, no more fishes to catch, no trees to build house as forests have been cut, sickness, poverty, electricity for the rich not for the poor...). Finally participants remind that it should be good to get the feedback from locals. But Thong Pan is already gone as he knows nothing can change. One local raise that they want fertile land but also complains about officials corruption, thieves, illegal sawmills that cut forests, missing healthcare for them as they can never visit doctors. When Tong Pan reaches home, his wife is already dead. Tong Pan movie was banned following the 1976 demonstrations. Participants and directors were sent to jail or exiled following this 1976 uprising. The Culture Ministry registers 25 Thai classic films each year at the National Film Heritage Registry. This movie is part of the 25 films heritage list announced on 04 October 2011, which is Thai Movies Conservation Day.

! อัศเจรีย์
! อัศเจรีย์

Year: 1977

Thai title: ! อัศเจรีย์
English title: Exclamation

Rating: 3/5
Director:

Main actor:
Main actress:

Thai short movie ! อัศเจรีย์ was released in year 1977. It lasts 16 minutes. This short movie / documentary is part of the first 25 films heritage list announced on October 4 2011, which is Thai Movies Conservation Day. This movie is about childhood inequality. Some upcountry children do not have chance to eat normally, to sleep normally, to go to school like other children. Parents are not here. Some children need to help in being garbage collectors. There are also references to the Vietnam war. It was directed by สุรพงษ์ พินิจค้า. He sent his short film to participate to Bangkok Bank‘s documentary contest in year 1977. The jury didn't dare to give the first prize but they also didn't dare to give nothing so it received a special price. The directing style is unique. It is looking more as a photo slide ware than a standard documentary.



Social problem films (หนังสะท้อนสังคม or หนังสะท้อนปัญหาสังคม) stories point to injustice in Thai society. This genre is not popular among audiences because the stories do not support the law of karma. The villains are not punished. The social problem films in Thailand boomed from the 1970s through the mid 1980s. After the events of 14 October 1973 Thai people enjoyed a form of democracy that was provided with increased freedom. As a consequence, Thai people became more openly interested in politics and social problems. Some social problem movies deal about farmers' difficult life and their migration to Bangkok. Bangkok is a symbol for poor up-country people, i.e. dream of wealth, glittering lights of the big city and so on... Some people dream to get rich there but most of them come back home without money.

เสน่ห์บางกอก
เสน่ห์บางกอก

Year: 1966

Thai title: เสน่ห์บางกอก
English title:

Rating: 5/5
Director: Wichit Khunawut

Main actor:
Main actress: Pawana Chanajit

เสน่ห์บางกอก (Charm of Bangkok) is a Thai movie released in year 1966. It has still a colorful image. It was never released officially in any video format such as VHS, VCD or DVD. So luckily in year 2013, it was released on Thai TV CH7 during the program อมตะหนังไทย. It lasts 1h35mn. Originally the movie lasts 2h20mn. It remains famous as one of the first song movies (หนังเพลง) in Thailand. It featured 8 songs. It received three golden statuettes during Thai cinema awards. The main actor is a real Thai singer (นักร้องลูกทุ่ง พร ภิรมย์). A Thai collector still has the full length movie but in mute mode as it is a 16mm movie so it needs to get dubbed. He shared an additional 19 minutes extract with songs on Internet. Too sad that the movie from director Wichit Khunawut (วิจิตร คุณาวุฒิ) cannot be seen in its original state. Sabai (สไบ) (Pawana Chanajit) is riding bicycle and gets hit by Plae's (แพร) car. Animosity happens immediately between them (เครียดกัน). Sabai is friend with Tong, Plae's sister. Plae wishes to continue his studies but his father Kamnan wants him to ordain as a monk and then to marry Sabai! Dance (รำวง) happens in the village. The dancing ends up in a fighting between Plae and a ruffian trying to seduce Sabai. Plae is bitten by a snake. While he is recovering, his father already asked Sabai's parents for her hand through a procession ceremony (พิธีแห่ขันหมาก). Sabai claims she doesn't love him (แต่งแล้วจะรักกันเอง). Later on they even argue strongly (คนผีทะเล). Ordination ceremony happens. Plae's father intends to have a lakorn to entertain guests. Some guests from Bangkok are coming. Khun Luang and a star (ดาราละคร) are coming. Plae falls under the charm of the actress. Khun Luang wishes to rent the Buddha image (พระองค์งาม) but Kamnan refuses as it protects the family happiness. Still under the charm, Plae hits his own brother to steal the Buddha and flees to Bangkok (หนีบวจ) hoping to become rich (ความเจริญในเมืองบางกอก). Losing face, the father decides to look for his son in Bangkok. Many comic situations happen as Kamnan has never been in big city like Bangkok (บ้านนอก). There are amazing sequences showing Bangkok and its famous tourist spots 50 years ago. Plae goes to Khun Luang and the actress house. He meets Sabai there as she knew he will come here! The actress already forgot him. Disappointed, he leaves. Khun Luang (หัวหน้าร้าย) sends thugs to find Plae. Meanwhile Plae befriends with a Thai boxing ring owner and leaves the Buddha statue at his home. Plae gets kidnapped by the thugs. Kamnan needs to give the Buddha statue in exchange. Finally Kamnan, the Thai boxing ring owner and the police neutralise the ruffians. Through a thrilling Thai boxing match, Plae beats his opponent and wins enough money to bring everybody back to the village. He will fulfill his promise to ordain and then marry Sabai. Many Thai movies are about the theme of the up country guy coming to Bangkok and hoping to become rich but only facing disillusion. This story has been readapted a few times, i.e. in years 2011 and 1996 for Thai TV series and in year 1981 for a Thai movie with Sorapong Chatree and Naowarat Yooktanun.

สัตว์มนุษย์
สัตว์มนุษย์

Year: 1976

Thai title: สัตว์มนุษย์
English title:

Rating: 5/5
Director:

Main actor: Sorapong Chatree,Krung Srivilai,Jamroon Nuatjim
Main actress: Aranya Namwong,Piathip Kumwong

Chot (Sorapong Chatree) and his sister Choi (Aranya Namwong) are children of poor farmers. Chot loves Soi, who is the subdistrict headman's daughter (กำนัน). They love each other but Chot cannot have any hope as he is too poor (เด็กเรียนควาย). Chot helps his sister Choi as she was going to be raped by three ruffians (สัตว์นรก!) that are protected by the local subdistrict headman. Saeng, son of the subdistrict headman, requests a young lady called Bua as a payment for her mother's debt. Bua takes refuge in Chot's father home. Meanwhile Chot is arrested as he hit earlier the three ruffians. It is unfair and the family has no money to pay the bail (ประกัน). The father needs to ask a local Chinese moneylender for 10 000 baht to pay the bail. There are always issues between Saeng and Chot. Saeng would like to kill Chot. One night, Saeng's ruffians rob the 10 000 baht reimbursement and kidnap Bua. The subdistrict headman and village headman are not helpful to poor people. The village headman prevents Chot and other men to look after the ruffians as Chot shot one of the robbers. Bua is then found dead. Choi is very upset as Bua's death is due to the village headman (ผู้ใหญ่บ้าน) inactivity and his refusal to take responsability (ไม่รับผิดชอบ) as he prefers to help rich people only. As the headman hits her sister, Chot, in full anger, shots him and then needs to flee. Chai is the local Chinese moneylender's son. He is no respect for others. Chai (ลูกเศรษฐี) tries to shoot birds in a Buddhist temple despite the abbot's request to stop. Chot, who took refuge in this temple, prevents him to do so as a temple shall remain a peaceful haven. If we accept human sins, what kind of future will Buddhism have? (ถ้าเรายอมให้มนุษย์ทำบาป ศาสนาจะมีอนาคตอะไร). Pliu, future lawyer, promises to marry Choi. Chot succeeds to get back the 10 000 bath from Saeng (ตอบแทนความชั่ว). The father refuses the money believing his son is now a brigand (โจร). Heavy floods happen. All crops are devasted. The father has no more money to invest in new crops. Be good and there is nothing good happening to them (ความดีไม่เอาแล้ว). The father receives 3000 bath to plant new crops but Choi must accept to be the moneylender's domestic helper (เป็นขี้ข้าดอกเบี้ย). As Chot was injured, he cannot help. Only the Buddhist abbot helps him. Choi is drugged by the moneylender and raped. Then she is forced by Chai. She fell in hell (ตกนรก). She supports this situation as respect to her father (กตัญญูสำหรับพ่อ). Tia, the moneylender, likes Choi very much and decides to take her as minor wife. She accepts in order to remove her father's debt but this one doesn't understand his daughter (sent her to be a maid and not a wife - ส่งให้เป็นแม่บ้านไม่ได้ส่งให้เป็นเมีย) and decides to stop any relationship with her (ไม่มีลูกสาวแล้ว, คนอยู่ละโลก, ผู้หญิงขายตัว). Money has destroyed his world and family. The father has a heart attack and dies. Choi is now pregnant. Most likely the father is Chai and not Tia, the father. Tia's wife puts everybody under his own responsibility. Wishing to do good one time in his life, Tia promises to give a house and one million bath for Chai to marry Choi (ฮี่ควาย). Saeng then threathens to kill Tua if he doesn't handover a bus line. Rich and influent people are sinful (สัตว์มนุษย์) behaving worst than animals. Finally Tia asks Choi to convince Chot to give a lesson to Saeng versus a promise to help Chot against authorities. During the fight Saeng accidentally dies. Chot surrenders (มอบตัว) and is finally forgiven by the tribunal thanks to lawyer Pliu. Choi continues to behave badly with no respect, no care for anybody except himself. He finally has a business conflict with Tia and dies, being shot by Soi. This movie has a deranging question regarding karma. People who do good and follow up Buddhist precepts are the poor losers. The moneylender, the subdistrict headman's family do not follow the law and are the one reaping the profit. Is it worth to be always good people when injustice prevails? Actor Sorapong Chatree got a best Thai actor award for this movie.

ทองพูน โคกโพ ราษฎรเต็มขั้น
ทองพูน โคกโพ ราษฎรเต็มขั้น

Year: 1977

Thai title: ทองพูน โคกโพ ราษฎรเต็มขั้น
English title: Taxi Driver (Citizen I)

Rating: 5/5
Director: ChatriChalerm Yukol

Main actor: Jatuphol Poopirom,Pinyo Parnnui,Somsak Chaisongkram,Boo Wibunnan
Main actress: Wiyada Umarin,Marasri Isarangkul

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Thai movie ทองพูน โคกโพ ราษฎรเต็มขั้น / Taxi Driver (Citizen I) was released in year 1977. Thongpoon (Jatuphol Poopirom) is a Thai farmer coming from Udon Thani and going to Bangkok. Thongpoon sold his rice field in Udon and has spared money during five years to buy a taxi. This taxi represents the future for him and his young son. It is his dream to have his own taxi. Thongpoon is gullible. Rich Bangkok people cheat him by claiming having no change but Taen, a kind-hearted prostitute, gives him a note without asking change back. Her name is Taen (Wiyada Umarin) and she has issues with Somsak Chaisongkram (แมงดา) as she is pregnant. Thongpoon helps chasing Somsak away and becomes her regular taxi driver. He picks up her at her working place (อาบอบนวด). Thongpoon proposes to Taen to take care about his son but not easy to stop such job well paid. Thongpoon meets also Pinyo Parnnui, who claims to be a Thai soldier having fought in Vietnam and now being paralyzed. When his taxi get stolen by bad boys, his life alters. As they also steal his money, he is expelled from his home by his landlord (Marasri Isarangkul) as he cannot pay the rent. He ends up working on a construction site. His goal is to get back his taxi by all means. Pinyo brings him where the ruffians mingle but he gets beaten again. A business card lost allows to identify Boo Wibunnan as garage owner. He then forgets Taen and son. He refuses money from Taen to buy a new taxi as he doesn't want to be a pimp (แมงดา). He storms Boo’s garage and kill the ruffians trying to stop him. This madness leads him to prison. This movie highlights the impossible fight between poor and rich influential people, the analogy between the buffalo and the taxi for poor Isan people in Bangkok. Jatuphol Poopirom got a Thai award for his performance. It was his first movie. Sorapong Chatree was supposed to play the main role of Thongpoon but he was not available for the shooting so new comer Jatuphol Poopirom replaced him. As Jatuphol Poopirom died during a car accident in 1981, Sorapong Chatree played the main role in Citizen II. ChatriChalerm Yukol drove around Bangkok for weeks with cab drivers gathering anecdotes for "The Citizen".

น้องเมีย
น้องเมีย

Year: 1978

Thai title: น้องเมีย
English title: Sister-In-Law

Rating: 5/5
Director: ChatriChalerm Yukol

Main actor: Sorapong Chatree,Thuam Thoranong
Main actress: Lalana Sulawan,Wiyada Umarin,Chosri Misommon

Four members of a family are living on a barge and carrying goods between provinces. Saeng, young man, is married to Plang. They have a young baby. Taptim is the young sister-in-law. Taptim is working hard but her elder sister is lazy. Saeng shouts after Taptim but remains silent with his wife. The barge arrives in Bangkok. Plang is fed up with her life on the boat. She is still young and wants to have fun. She sees herself having no future with Saeng. Taptim believes Plang doesn't love Saeng but married him to go away from her parents. Saeng doesn't believe Taptim. Saeng needs to sell 5000 watermelons. He only gets an offer of 20000 baht only. He refuses to sell. Plang believes she can be a country music (ลูกทุ่ง) singer. Plang meets in a hair-dresser shop a middle age gentle lady, who proposes to help her. Taptim refuses to join Plang as she is afraid to become a prostitute in Bangkok. Plang quits the barge. Saeng is shocked and finally sell the watermelons 12000 baht to have money and look for his wife in Bangkok. The trader knows that Saeng needs money urgently so he gives him a very low price (ขี้โกง). Bangkok is so big. He goes in every singing entertainment places to find her the whole day and night. Hopefully a taxi driver helps him (คนบ้านนอก). Saeng doesn't know how to read. He drinks too much and leaves his 12000 baht in a restaurant. Taptim has to take care of the baby as both parents are out in Bangkok. The taxi driver is a nice and honest guy as most of the taxi drivers come from Isan (อีสาน). Saeng sells his boat for a small amount and buys back a smaller boat. He finally finds Plang when she was ironically singing "chai dio rak dio" (ใจเดียวรักเดียว - one heart one love). Plang is performing in a drinking joint which offers live entertainment. Customers can invite singers to chat with them. Saeng and the taxi driver get beaten by the guards. The old woman introduces an old rich man to Plang. It is a financial transaction. Understanding that the man brings her to a hotel, she flees. Saeng loses his money again. Saeng stops looking for Plang having lost everything. The only money that is left is from Taptim as she forces the trader to give a higher compensation for the watermelons. Finally Saeng regrets not to have married Taptim as she has a better mood and behavior than Plang. Saeng wishes to get Taptim as new wife. It happens... When Plang decides to come back, it is too late to get back Saeng. She comes to get back her child. Nobody wishes to stay in Bangkok. They all go back to countryside. Bangkok is a symbol for poor up-country people, i.e. dream of wealth. Some people dream to get rich there but many of them come back home without money. Some countryside people arrive in Bangkok and get abused by Bangkokian people.

คนกลางแดด
คนกลางแดด

Year: 1979

Thai title: คนกลางแดด
English title:

Rating: 5/5
Director:

Main actor: Noppadol Duangporn
Main actress:

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Phlaew and Na have a small company producing ice and transporting it to customers. They share profit 50-50. They are living in a Bangkok slum where families support each other. Phaew is a nice guy. He is sending local children to school and help to send Maew, little girl having respiratory problems, to hospital. Poor children from slum have no time to do homework after school because they sell flowers, newspapers at traffic light intersections. It is a hard job to sell garlands and get revenue when it is the rainy season. Poor people has no time to study as they need to earn money to survive but get blamed by teacher when they arrive late to school or when they couldn't do homework because they were too tired. There is a contrast between rich children playing piano and poor children playing with bamboo. They dream of changing lifes, i.e. sell clothes instead of selling flower garlands. Elders are gambling and drinking. There are internal family fighting on savings. Pa, middle age woman, borrows money from local mafia den. Pa and Na lose at horse betting and Pa cannot reimburse the mafia den. Pa's husband fled away because of her gambling habit and because her daughter got handicapped by a cart while the mother played cards. Pa gets hit by mafia tough men because she cannot give money back. Phlae celebrates his birthday with all poor kids and Na. Alcohol helps them to forget their problems temporary. Phlaew discovers that Na was unfair with him since two years because he doesn't know how to read. Na didn't share the revenue honestly. Phlaew asks for 30 000 Baht to pay back Pa debts and to do good for her daughter Phae. Pa encounters Na when going to give back money to mafia. He convinces her to bet on Thai boxing following a tip he got. When he realizes that the money they bet is coming from Phlaew it is too late. Meanwhile the mafia tough guys are looking for Pa. They look after her daughter Phae to locate the mother. The local insane guy, who tries to protect Phae and Maew, is hit by a knife. Due to the fear, Maew died due to her respiratory problems. Phlaew asks for revenge. One of the participants brings them to the boss, who is getting and selling land from slums in order to build modern buildings. A deadly fight erupts in which Na gets shot. The boss gets badly hurt but survives. Slum people get caught by the Police. Before dying Maew, the little girl, has writen a text to celebrate the Bangkok 200 years anniversary. Bangkok development is done on the back of poor people. Bangkok is not an angel city anymore. People in slum are moved from one place to another following Bangkok development. To chase people from slums, their houses are often burnt. This movie highlights their difficult and poor living condition (youngsters addicted to cheap drugs, poverty, insalubrity...) but they still have a good heart towards each other in a similar way to people living in up-country villages. "คนกลางแดด" means the people under the sun. Slum people same as villagers are second class citizen. This movie has also been registered as National Heritage per the 2016 list released by the Thai Film Archive.

บันทึกลับครูพร
บันทึกลับครูพร

Year: 1981

Thai title: บันทึกลับครูพร
English title:

Rating: 3/5
Director:

Main actor: Noppadol Duangporn
Main actress:

It shows the importance and abnegation of teachers working in Thai remote rural villages in order to intruct poor children.

ดาวเคียงเดือน
ดาวเคียงเดือน

Year: 1982

Thai title: ดาวเคียงเดือน
English title:

Rating: 3/5
Director:

Main actor: Toon Hiransap
Main actress: Naowarat Yooktanun,Supansa Nuengpirom,Sarinthip Siriwan,Marasri Bangchang

Two sisters are living together with their mother in a northern village. Their friend have gone to Bangkok and are making a good living. When their mother dies, they also have to go to Bangkok to earn money but they refuse to work in entertainment business. They finally work as domestic helpers in a high end family. Both of them love the family's son. But their family love is stronger than a rivality towards a man and they finally go back to the countryside. if all rural people go to Bangkok, who will cultivate rice for Bangkok people?

ลูกอีสาน
ลูกอีสาน

Year: 1982

Thai title: ลูกอีสาน
English title: Son of the Northeast

Rating: 4/5
Director: Wichit Khunawut

Main actor: Krailat Kriengkrai,Tongchai Prasongsanti
Main actress: Sarinthip Siriwan,Sulaleewan Suwanthat

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It is about "ISAN" (อีสาน), area in the Northeast of Thailand. This is the poorest area in Thailand. This movie relates the life of Koon, a small boy living in a village. It is based on the book "A Child of the Northeast" ("LUK ISAN" - ลูกอีสาน) written by Kampoon Boontawee. It has won Thailand's first SEAW ite Award in 1979. The film is shot in Lao language. It shows the harsh life of Isan farmers. Some villagers are leaving the area due to drought. Remaining villagers have to quest for water every day. Raining is not coming so a cat ceremony is organized. Water is thrown to an encaged cat in order that his shouts make the rain deity to take pity on him. Monks are the advisors of the communauty and children go to schools located inside temples. Village shops are held by Vietnamese and Chinese people who argue together to sell goods to local people. Koon's family is setting up a caravan to go to the Mun river and stock fishes for a few months. Koon learns hunting skills from his father. Koon's cousin has to marry swiftly as her parents found she spent a whole night with one young man. Molam singers visit the village bringing joy and news from the outside world. An old woman is lamenting on her future as her husband is dead and her daughter only wishes to quit the village and its harsh life. This movie is winner of several international awards and was selected for the 1983 Berlin Film Festival. This movie is part of the first 25 films heritage list announced on October 4 2011, which is Thai Movies Conservation Day.

เทพธิดาโรงงาน
เทพธิดาโรงงาน

Year: 1982

Thai title: เทพธิดาโรงงาน
English title: Factory angel

Rating: 5/5
Director: Yutthana Mookdasanit

Main actor: Kriengkrai Unhanan,Lak Apichat,Somchai Samipak,Krailat Kriengkrai
Main actress: Jarunee Sooksawad,Wilaiwan Watthanaphanit,Juree Osiri

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Oi (Jarunee Sooksawad) is leaving her village and is going to the city (กรุง) to find a work. Teum (Krailat Kriengkrai) proposes to help. After a long trip, they reach the textile factory (คนงานใหม่). Rangsan (Kriengkrai Unhanan) as factory manager (ผู้จัดการ) agrees to recruit Oi and her two friends. Rotchai is the factory controller (ห้าม, ไม่อนุญาต). Factory workers sleep in dormitory and share big bathroom. The factory manager seems to like Oi a lot. His parents are played by famous veteran actor Somchai Samipak and veteran actress Juree Osiri. Chalai is a high-so girl pushed by Rangsan's mother to marry her son. Working conditions are hard in the factory, i.e. hot and noisy environment. Japanese investors are visiting the factory. Yamada, the Japanese factory owner, wants Oi to represent the Thai factory in Japan as angel protector. Everybody is stunned by Oi's beauty when she wears traditional clothes. Molam song is used as soundtrack (สาวโรงงาน). Oi is split between her boyfriend waiting for her in Isan and the strong interest shown by the factory manager Rangsan. There is a contest in the factory similar to Songkran festival (ประกวด เทพธิดาโรงงาน or angel factory contest). Pa Chan, an old aunt (Wilaiwan Watthanaphanit), working there for twenty years, gets the title. A high society fair is organized by Rangsan's parents in their home. Oi is invited (สวัสดีปีใหม่). There is a contrast between western classical music used in high society part and Molam listened in the factory. But at the end the high society people (ผู้ดี) also push each other for the buffet. Lak Apichat is playing a house guard. The fair degenerates as Chalai denigrates Oi (คนบ้านนอก) and ends up with a bowl of food on the head. Rangsan refuses to punish Oi as she didn't behave badly in her job so the mother hires ruffians but they get pushed back thanks to the taxi driver Pen (อโนเชาว์ ยอดบุตร). Many countryside people have dreams when coming to Bangkok the first time (กรุงเทพเป็นเมืองฟ้า). Some workers end up working in sauna believing work is easier and getting fast money. Pa Chan loses conscience again while working. Despite being a worker dedicated for twenty years, she is finally thrown away like a dog (is it the reward for being a slave for twenty years?). A sign shows “Safety first” but no action is taken to help Pa Chan. Rangsan explains the gesture by being worried about syndicates and wish to avoid inspections as it could mean additional expenses. Oi rescues the old lady at her home. Oi is invited in Japan and shall be selected as factory angel representative. On the day of the announcement event, Pa Chan dies of sickness in Oi's arms. Oi makes a touching speech to the factory management complaining about their lack of humanity towards Pa Chan. She quits her job and goes back to Isan. Her boyfriend is on the way to Saudi Arabia to work there one year. She finds her father. Only family is source of trust and happiness. The movie เทพธิดาโรงงาน lasts 2 hours. It has been adapted into a Thai TV serie in year 2012.

สวรรค์บ้านนา
สวรรค์บ้านนา

Year: 1983

Thai title: สวรรค์บ้านนา
English title:

Rating: 5/5
Director: Surasee Phatham

Main actor: Piya Trakulrard,Ed Carabao,Doo Dook Kradon
Main actress:

สวรรค์บ้านนา is a Thai movie released in year 1983. This movie is about Isan, northeastern region of Thailand. The movie features fourteen great songs. Isan people come to Bangkok for work but then they have to go back to home when rainy season is coming in order to take care of rice fields (ทำนา). They face harsh life in Bangkok. Most of Isan workers have manufacturing job in factories, work in bar / nightclub, work as Tuk Tuk driver, toilets boy (boy ห้องน้ำ)... Teuk (Carabao Ed - แอ๊ด) is fired from the bar in which he is performing as people don't like his songs. A group of ten friends including Sitha (Piya Trakulrard) and Fai invite him to discover life in countryside (ชีวิตชนบท) as it is time for rice season. Isan people dream to go back home to build their paradise (สวรรค์บ้านนา). As there is a rice crop only once a year they have no choice but to go working in Bangkok. Souvenirs (ของฝาก) are brought by them when they come back to the village where only old people and children stay. Nang wishes to be a molam singer (นางเอกมอลำ) but her father doesn't allow. Villagers help each other and shared work happens in the rice fields using buffalo. Romances are happening. The movie is showing how the rice season is happening. The movie shows Isan culture such as "Bun Bang Fai" (บุญบ้างไฟ) festival parade. The rocket competition is ending in fightings between groups. Many men are disappointed (อกหัก) as Sitha and Nang love each other. The father wishes to choose his daughter's husband by himself (ชอบลูกเสียงหรือลูกสาว). One villager is coming back from Saudi Arabia having a big house, building a new house for his father, having latest TV, Hi Fi and listening to western music but his wife is gone (ชู). A local villager called Kaew, being jealous about Sitha, talks to Nang's father. Nang is not allowed to meet Sitha anymore. Buddhist Lent festival (วันเข้าภรรษา) is coming. This movie is showing life in Isan with rice culture (ทำนา) and its various steps, religious ceremonies, harsh life in Isan, special dishes (ลาบเลือด…), hunting... Sitha is disappointed as misunderstandings happen with Nang. Sitha's friend convinces his father (ชาวนา) to sell his rice fields to pay for the fee to go to Saudi Arabia. Nang's father sends her to the city to try to break their relationship. On the day of Nang's fiancailles with villager Kaew, Nang flees with Sitha. Nang's father, afraid to lose his daughter, promotes her as molam main singer (นางเอกมอลำ) in his band and accepts finally Sitha. Rice season is over (หมดหน้านา). A farewell to local spirits (ปู่ตา) before departure to Bangkok is done. Famous Carabao song Pu Tao (เพลง ผู้เฒ่า) is sung by Ed. Everybody is back to work in Bangkok. One goes to Saudi Arabia. Ed finally composes some famous songs following his stay in Isan. Only old people are left when young people go back to work in Bangkok. The movie lasts currently 2h03mn. Due to its success it was released two times. But on the second release, some sequences and Carabao songs have disappeared. A 2h15mn version was shown on VHS and cable TV. The original length is 2h30mn. Director is Surasee Phatham who directed many famous social movies.

ราชินีดอกหญ้า
ราชินีดอกหญ้า

Year: 1986

Thai title: ราชินีดอกหญ้า
English title:

Rating: 4/5
Director: Surasee Phatham

Main actor: Prompong Nopparith,Doo Dook Kradon
Main actress: Jarunee Sooksawad

A Molam performers group is going to quit playing (ลาเวที). They are going to play Manora performance for the last time. Benchawee is the main young lady singer. A photographer called Somwit wishes to join them. He wants to convince them not to stop as Molam is part of Isan culture but it seems too late. Finally they accept to resume one time as a donor pleads them. Molam is not so popular anymore. Mainly old people are watching. Molam performers have difficulties to compete face to modern Thai country (ลูกทุ่ง) music and need to renew their style. Molam is an art (ศิลปะ). Somwit understands the need to write down songs in order to have records as it is mainly passed orally from one generation to another. There are many kinds of Molam song style such as Molam Ploen (หมอลำเพลิน) , Molam sing (หมอลำซิ่ง) and so on... Somwit wishes to bring the Molam band to radio broadcasting. Somwit decides to mix Molam song with modern Thai song (หมอลำยังไม่ตาย). An example is “Siang Isaan” as a modern Molam music group. Sawit wants to bring Benchawee to Bangkok to increase her popularity. They meet an unscrupulous producer who only wants to abuse Rawee. They continue to tour around Thailand and start to become famous. Somwit has to go back for personal affairs in Bangkok but fails to come back. Benchawee misses him and has then difficulties to sing properly. Somwit finally comes back mixing Molam songs with a modern dancing music. Benchawee becomes the Molam queen. This movie highlights that traditions can survive and stay popular by adapting to the modern tastes. The producer realizes his mistake. Yearly best singer competition is going to happen. Who will be the next queen of singers? Duang Chan Duang Chai, Thai country music singer, has fans all over Thailand but Benchawee has only Isan fans but Isan workers are everywhere so spreading their culture. A vote happens and Benchawee is aware that she won. Somwit brings Benchawee to meet his parents. His father refuses this wedding as he is coming from high society. For him an Isan girl is same as a Lao girl so denigrating both. The game is cheated and Duang chan Duang Chai Chan is announced as winner. Molam couldn't be accepted by Bangkok elite (คนเศรษฐีโกหก) So Benchawee couldn't win. The elite has chosen but Thai people have chosen also. Benchawee’s concert is a huge success while Duang Chan Duang Chai concert is a complete failure as spectators flock to see Benchawee singing. She becomes the queen of grassroots (ราชินีดอกหญ้า) instead of the queen of flowers (ราชินีดอกฟ้า). The perjury is disclosed as hidden votes are found. It is fun to see Jarunee Sooksawad singing Molam songs (หมอลำสาวบ้านนอก). Lao and Thai languages are used in this movie shot in year 1986. The movie lasts 2h03mn. It got three rewards (รางวัลสุพรรณหงส์) during Thai film industry ceremony.

ด้วยเกล้า
ด้วยเกล้า

Year: 1987

Thai title: ด้วยเกล้า
English title: The Seed

Rating: 5/5
Director: Bandit Ritthakol

Main actor: Santisuk Promsiri,Krailat Kriengkrai
Main actress: Jintara Sookkapat

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After each annual Royal Ploughing Brahminic ceremony, farmers are rushing to get grains of rice paddy (ข้าวนายหลวง) as they believe they are sacred. Saokam, a farmer from Northern Thailand, has been to Bangkok to Sanam Luang (สนามหลวง) and brings back gifts and royal rice seeds for family and relatives. Saokam takes some seeds to grow in his field. He gives some to friends and neighbours including lady Buarian, the local shopkeeper and usurer, who keeps one seed for worship. Saokam has three children including one daughter called Kaew. Saokam's house is destroyed by a storm. Saokam has only one week to pay back debts. One son, Ang, wants to sell the rice fields and go to city. The debt cycle with the usurer has no end. Saokam has to sell his buffalo but it only pays the debt interests. This year following a drought there is no rain and no more water. Only the usurer has a well. There is fight over water with villagers as Buarian refuses to sell water until villagers pay back debts. Ang, fed up by this life, goes out of home and gets refuge in hill tribes (ผู้ดอย). They trade opium between Burma and Thailand. Fortunately, Saokam's second son is working with the King's project to produce artificial rain (ฝนหลวง). Big dark clouds are created and bountiful rain happens. Everybody rejoices except lady Buarian selling water. She has no mercy (เมตตา). Some farmers have to mortgage their own fields to pay debts and Buarian takes advantage of her neighbor's poverty by increasing rate. She fires some farmers from their house as they cannot pay back debts. She doesn't want to give a delay for them to plant rice as water has been plentiful. Their son, Neung, is soldier but his salary is not enough to pay debts. Villagers help each other and Saokam accommodates them in his home. Kaew is the girlfriend of the son of the usurer but he claims he cannot help as it is his mother's decision. Ang is back but his family refuses the money got from opium trade (เงินบาป). He leaves again to see his girlfriend Nacha at the Burmese border. The rice grows well. Neung is now a soldier as Burmese-Thai border. The father has to sell at low cost his rice to pay back the debt and even has to give the small amount they keep for their own consumption. The rice trader has an arrangement with the usurer. Kaew breaks up with the usurer's son. Family members help each other. In addition, Saokam's son also persuades other farmers to join the Royal Agricultural Projects and build a cooperative. The new worry is to grab Ang from the opium traders before a clash happens with army. Neung promises Kaew that he will help. During a clash with army and opium traders, Neung protects Ang but gets hurt and is responsible of one soldier's injuries also. He is fired from Army. Ang apologises for his wrongdoings. The movie ends up on a positive way. Farmers are out of debt cycle by following Royal Agricultural project, rice is abundant, Neung receives Army's appreciation by helping to catch the opium trader ring leader. Usurer gets bankrupted having no more customers and needs to leave. This movie was made to celebrate of His Majesty's 5th Cycle Birthday. "Good" films are sometimes rejected by the audience. An example was this movie, produced to commemorate the Thai King. Although the film received many awards, no distributors would take it. The Culture Ministry registers 25 Thai classic films each year at the National Film Heritage Registry. This movie is part of the 25 films heritage list announced on 04 October 2015, which is Thai Movies Conservation Day.

บ้าน
บ้าน

Year: 1987

Thai title: บ้าน
English title:

Rating: 4/5
Director: Chat Korbjitti

Main actor: Sorapong Chatree,Sor Asanajinda
Main actress: Piathip Kumwong

This sad story relates the story of a man coming from countryside with his family to earn a living in Bangkok. They are living in a slum. He has two kids. He has to work hard on construction side. Their dream is to have their own home (บ้าน). His daughter is selling flowers on a street. His son is helping his mother to prepare the flowers. They have a third child. The family borrows money to build a house. His grandfather is also joining the family in Bangkok. The man becomes a fisherman and has to leave home from long periods. His wife has an affair and gets pregrant. He expelled her from home. His daughter is having an affair with a young man and he also expelled her from home. The fishing boat is caught in Cambodian seas and he is sent in jail for 6 months. His grandfather get hurt on his back and cannot walk properly anymore. His son is sent to youth jail as he robs metal to buy medicine for his grandfather. Feeling useless, the grandfather gets suicide. When he is back from Cambodia, his family is wracked. This movie depicts life in urban slums of Bangkok with all its suffering and hardship. It was the object of much enthousiasm and praise among foreigners in Thailand and Thai intellectuals. Everyone in the story suffers from an unkind fate. The problems of the whole family stem from its leader only.

น้องเมีย
น้องเมีย

Year: 1990

Thai title: น้องเมีย
English title: Song for Chao Phraya

Rating: 5/5
Director: ChatriChalerm Yukol

Main actor: Chatchai Plengpanich
Main actress: Passorn Boonyakiat,Sulaleewan Suwanthat

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The director ChatriChalerm Yukol had done a remake of his own 1978 movie. New actors are playing and a similar scenario is used. This movie got three Thai awards. Four members of a family are living on a sand barge (เรือทราย). They navigate between provinces. Saeng, young man, is married to Plang. They have a young baby. Taptim is the young 15 years old sister-in-law. They are boat people (คนเรือ) since generations. The barge arrives in Bangkok. Plang is fed up with her life on the boat. She is still young and wants to have fun. She threathens Saeng to choose between his sand barge and her. She would like to sell the sand barge and change their life. Saeng bought the sand at high price but the Bangkokian trader only proposes a low price. The boat is leaking and needs repair. He refuses to sell as it means losing money. Plang believes she can be an actress (ดารา). Plang meets in a hair-dresser shop a gentle lady called Mrs Aree, who proposes to help her. Due to her provincial accent, Mrs Aree understands immediately who is Plang and sell her dreams. Mrs Aree is in fact a mama-san (มาม่าซัง). Taptim refuses to join Plang as she is afraid to become a prostitute in Bangkok. Plang quits the barge. Saeng is shocked and finally sells the sand at lower cost to have money and to look for his wife in Bangkok. Bangkok is so big. He walks bare foot alone through the streets, markets and malls to no avail. Taptim has to take care of the baby as both parents are out in Bangkok. Saeng meets the taxi driver who brought his wife to the hair dresser. The taxi is his home same as the boat is Saeng's home. There is mutual understanding between the two men (คนบ้านนอก). Aree is said to be working in a Patpong gogo bar. There are dozens of bars in Patpong. Mrs Aree is now said to be a woman recruiting girls for Chao Praya massage parlour. Saeng succeeds to get Mrs Aree's address but has spent a lot of money. Being drunk, he falls in the river while boarding the boat and so loses his money. Saeng has to sell his boat for 100 000 baht but once debts are paid, there is a few money left to buy a small boat. In Bangkok, business is business. The taxi driver is not as friendly as in first opus and will not transport Saeng for free. Saeng continues to walk and walk many days around Sukhumvit area but cannot find Plang. Meanwhile Plang is still dreaming. Mrs Aree introduces an old rich man to Plang. She is the birthday gift of a movie producer. It is a financial transaction. After a diner, Plang is drunk and sent to a motel. Meanwhile Saeng finds Mrs Aree but then there is a fight with the condominium guard. He is beaten and sent to jail. Realizing that the older man is trying to rape her, Plang fights back and flees but Mrs Aree's ruffians beat her. Taptim pays for Saeng's bail so that he can exit from jail. Saeng wishes to get Taptim as new wife. They all go back to countryside. Anyway they are reunited as a family. When aims are too high, the fall is tough. Bangkok is a symbol for poor up-country people, i.e. dream of wealth. Some people dream to get rich there but many of them come back home without money. Some countryside people arrive in Bangkok and get abused by Bangkokian people.

มนต์รักทรานซิสเตอร์
มนต์รักทรานซิสเตอร์

Year: 2001

Thai title: มนต์รักทรานซิสเตอร์
English title: Mon Rak Transistor

Rating: 5/5
Director: Pen-Ek Ratanaruang

Main actor:
Main actress: Siriyakorn Pukkaves

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It is about a young rural man's quest for fame as a folk singer. Phaen has a great love for music and always sing at temple fairs in his village. During one fair he meets and falls in love with Sadao. On their wedding day, Phaen gives Sadao a transistor radio. Soon, Sadao is pregnant but Phaen has to leave home as he has to enter military service. While there, he enters a singing contest and wins. He spends two years in a band that never goes anywhere. After a tragic accident with his boss, he is forced to flee and work in a sugarcane plantation. But a fight causes him to lose his job. As things go from bad to worse, he is sent to prison after robbing. Finally he goes back home with empty hands and lost dreams. This movie has received many Thai awards. The Culture Ministry registers 25 Thai classic films each year at the National Film Heritage Registry. This movie is part of the 25 films heritage list announced on 04 October 2014, which is Thai Movies Conservation Day.

เสือร้องไห้
เสือร้องไห้

Year: 2005

Thai title: เสือร้องไห้
English title: Crying Tiger

Rating: 2/5
Director:

Main actor:
Main actress:

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This movie is a reality film about 4 people from Isan area. They have moved to Bangkok to find a job. It deals about their life, their hopes and sorrows. 3 men and 1 woman are interviewed. The men are working as stuntman, country folk singer, aspirant comedian. The woman is a taxi driver dreaming to drive a big truck so she could be able to visit her parents more often. The stunt man is lying to his parents saying he is a real actor and he dreams to be a stuntman for superstar Tony Jaa. The aspirant comedian is willing to do all tasks and wear silly costumes as a restaurant tout in order to join a well-known comedy troupe. The country folk singer is famous but still living in a cheap motel as he wishes to go back home in Isan one day. It has been filmed over one year. They were able to achieve their dreams. Like many Isan people, they are coming to Bangkok to achieve dreams and get rich. The micro-budget documentary feature Crying Tiger couldn't cover its production costs, grossing only 1.3 million baht.



Some social problem movies (หนังสะท้อนสังคม) deal about conflicts between poor people, government officials (policemen, soldiers, bureaucrats) and businessmen. The plots of these films usually involve the conflicts between classes such as poor people and their oppressors. The villains are the businessmen, embezzled politicians and corrupt government officials. At the end of these films, the conflicts cannot be resolved. The poor people are always the losers and the injustices continue. In such films, monarchy and Buddhist monkhood are present to symbolize the Thai community but do not help to solve the problems of poor people. Main characters in 1970s films are often killed as they do not have the support of the bureaucratic system. A new generation of government officials, reflecting the ideals of Thais in the 1970s, become the middle class in the 1980s. They represent the hope of solving social problems and of making the bureaucratic system better.The teacher represents morality itself.

เขาชื่อกานต์
เขาชื่อกานต์

Year: 1973

Thai title: เขาชื่อกานต์
English title: His name is Karn

Rating: 5/5
Director: ChatriChalerm Yukol

Main actor: Sorapong Chatree
Main actress: Naiyana Shewanan

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Dr. Kan gets married with a Bangkokian lady called Areutai. They go to countryside in Phitsanulok where Dr. Kan has been assigned. Areutai knows that her husband is poor but appreciates his maturity despite having the same age. Areutai's mother complains that in province Dr Kan will become rich slowly (รวยช้า). How can poor people find money to pay medicine? There is no way to become rich. On the oppositive in Bangkok, he could be rich in one day. Anyway it will be a lesson of life for Areuai (ชีวิตบ้านนอกมันเป็นอย่างไร). They arrive in Amphoe Babadan through oxcart riding. There is no doctor in the district so local people need to go to provincial centre or to contact a local shaman (หมอผี) or someone unaccredited as a doctor (หมอเถื่อน). There is at least a dispensary (สถานีอนามัย). Areutai is a romantic lady and able to do many things by herself but she doesn't want to be poor her whole life. Before Dr Kan, she met Moon, who is a rich man. He wanted to marry Areutai but was too slow to ask. Dr. Kan faces his first serious case when a man is bitten by a snake. It is too late to cure so the patient dies. Some local people complain on modern doctors (หมอสมัยใหม่) believing that any medicine injected can cure. Dr. Kan decided to come to the remote area to help poor people (คนน่าสงสาร). Dr. Kan and Areutai are having happiness (ชีวิตเป็นสุข) the first months but then Areutai wants to work. She is lonely. They don't have enough money to bear a baby. Dr. Kan is very busy (งานยุ่งมาก). Areutai is fed up. She decides to takes a break and goes to Bangkok. Moon still misses her. In Phitsanulok, it is already the rainy season (น้ำท่วม) so there is more work for Dr. Kan. Areutai is hoping for a letter from her husband to go back. Meanwhile she is out (เที่ยวทุกวัน) every day with Moon. She has a car accident with Moon as he doesn't want to let her go back to Phitsanulok. The district officer doesn't like Dr. Kan as he refused to give some free medicine stock for the district officer relatives' personal usage. Dr. Kan discover that a casino (บ่อน) is running at night time. The district officer is using his influence (อิทธิพล) to protect it (คลุม). Police cannot interfere. A fight happens inside the casino. A relative of the district officer is injured. Dr. Kan cannot help (ช่วยก็ไม่ได้) as the patient needs urgent blood transfer in hospital. He is not a god (ไม่ใช้หมอเทวดา). Some local people think that Dr. Kan refuses to help relatives of the district officer. The relative dies. Learning that Areutai is at hospital, Dr. Kan needs to go back urgently to Bangkok. Dr. Kan is confused. He thinks about opening a cabinet doctor in Bangkok. Moon wishes to talk with Dr. Kan. There are harsh words between the two men. Dr. Kan needs to choose between offering happy life to his wife or helping poor people. Moon tries to have Dr. Kan sent abroad. Dr. Kan goes back to Phitsanulok and faces death intimidations threats from the district officer's relatives (หมอกานต์ในบ่อน่ไม่ยอมลงให้กู - คนเก่งอยู่ไม่ได้). As Areutai's memory is back, he decides to go abroad to gain more money to make his wife happier. He goes back to Phitsanulok a last time to wrap up his activities. His police friend can do nothing against the district officer. He drinks alcohol to forget his uselessness (this was a taboo in Thai movies before). The district officer is under investigation and will likely be condemned to jail. Dr. Kan is witness of the district officer's illegal activities. His relatives belief that Dr. Kan is the one who discloses the whole story to authorities during his trips to Bangkok. Dr. Kan is shot dead by them during a storm. He was a good person (เขาเป็นคนดี). ChatriChalerm Yukol criticized the Thai bureaucracy and presented the problems of rural area. The film was successful at box office and received good reviews. As the district officer was a corrupted character, the movie has difficulty passing the film censorship committee. ChatriChalerm Yukol showed the film to Field Marshal Thanom Kittikachorn and then the film passed approval. It is likely that if ChatriChalerm Yukol were not the great-grandson of King Chulalongkorn, the film wouldn't have passed the censorship committee as he couldn't have met the Prime Minister. The movie is based on a novel from Suwannee Sukontha written in 1970. The movie "เขาชื่อกานต์n" actually threw away all the main characters of the Thai classical drama (clown, maid of honor...) so it was an unconventional movie compared to the 1960s Thai movies standards. Main actor Sorapong Chatree got a golden statuette (ตุ๊กตาทองดารานำชาย) for his interpretation as Doctor Kan.

สตรีที่โลกลืม
สตรีที่โลกลืม

Year: 1975

Thai title: สตรีที่โลกลืม
English title: Dark Lady

Rating: 3/5
Director: Chutima Suwannarat

Main actor: Sombat Methanee
Main actress: Tasawan Saneewong,Metta Roongrat

Thai movie สตรีที่โลกลืม was released in year 1975. It only lasts 1h10mn. Some parts are missing. The DVD is made from an earlier TV recording. Thaew (Metta Roongrat) is a bus money receiver (กระเป๋ารถเมล์) but she dislikes her job. Wone (Tasawan Saneewong)'s father is killed by a hitman (พ่อถูกยิง). Her boyfriend is Athit (Sombat Methanee). Athit is learning English. Athit sells some family land. He gets cash money from a lawyer (veteran actor). While going back home with his grandmother, they are aggressed by ruffians, who steal the money. The grandmother is killed. Athit chases the ruffians and finds that the mastermind is the lawyer himself. He chases him until a bank but has to back away as the police is coming. Meanwhile while going back home, Wone finds her mother in bed with a man called Prajak (น่าสงสารวิญญาณของพ่อ). He is the one who shot the father. Won dislikes him and he tries to abuse her. Wone complains to Athit but this one is focusing on taking revenge on the lawyer. Athit doesn't want to become a bad guy but life forces him (ไม่ได้ตั้งใจทำผิด มันมาหาผมเอง). Athit teaches a lesson to Prajak and injures him. Wone is chased by her mother from the house. Wone looks for Thaew but it seems she is now a prostitute (เป็นกะหรี่) as it earns more money. There is a visit to a rogue doctor as Wone needs to abort. Later on, the doctor wishes to meet again Wone but she refuses. He tries to blackmail her at her school with a picture taken during the abortion. Thaew promises to help her. He is finally arrested by the police as abortion is illegal act. Being rich, the doctor is released and warns Wone that he will take revenge. Wone is expelled from school as they receive the bad picture. Athit robs a shop. Wone realises than doing good is not always perceived positively by people (คนดี คนเลว). Athit promises to Wone to stop. Athit kills the men involved in his grandmother's death one by one including the lawyer. Athit's men continue to steal. Wone helps a child hit by a car and brings him to the hospital. Police wished to thank her. They knock at her home and finds Athit, who is arrested. Doing good has caused her demise. Movie director is ชุติมา สุวรรณรัต. Two other actors are เสริมพันธ์ สุทธิเนตร, อัศวิน รัตนประชา.

แด่คุณครูด้วยคมแฝก
แด่คุณครูด้วยคมแฝก

Year: 1975

Thai title: แด่คุณครูด้วยคมแฝก
English title:

Rating: 4/5
Director: Ruj Ronnapop

Main actor: Nard Poowanai,Sayan Chantaravi​boon,Nirut Sirijanya
Main actress: Aranya Namwong,Donnapha Sophee

Thai movie แด่คุณครูด้วยคมแฝก was released in year 1975. The last reel lasting 24mn is left to be seen. A VHS was also released many years ago. Two teachers are killed as they refuse to mingle with the local leader. Chai (Nard Poowanai) is nominated as new school headmaster (ครูใหญ่คนใหม่) for village Krok. Teacher Tawon is played by Sayan Chantaraviboon. Ruffians are always looking for trouble (ขอเรื่อง). Old teacher Piek is often drunk as unable to oppose to the ruffians. The ruling here is done through guns (กฎหมายที่นี่คือปืน). Chai meets Duang Kaew (Aranya Namwong), daughter of the ruffians’ leader called Krot. Duang Kaew doesn't want to help anybody else despite Chai asking her to bring usefulness to society and nation. Teacher Yim is played by Nirut Sirijanya. The father Krot refuses to help to build a new school. Chai wishes to teach children as the villagers’ knowledge need to increase. No future without knowledge. Teachers are keys in the development of children (ครูคือแม่ที่สอง) in remote villages as parents are busy in rice fields. Young teacher lady Raem (Donnapha Sophee) goes with Yim as Chai refuses her advances. Ruffians kidnap teacher Raem and rape her. Disgusted, Duang Kaew humiliates the rapists, blames her father (สังสอนพ่อ) and joins villagers' side (ลูกอกันตันยุ) to fight injustice. Krot’s son uses violence to build popularity (สร้างบารมี) for his father. Old teacher Piek goes for duel with ruffians but he is shot by them. Angry by this death, rebellion happens led by teacher Chai. The father and his men surround the village. Duang Kaew is on the villagers’ side. Pushed by his daughter, the father wishes to change and condemn the rapists but his son Kampaeng is not willing. Shooting happens as Kampeng wants to kill teacher Chai. Following confusion and houses burning, Kampaeng is also shot and dies. The father asks to stop the killings and promises to change. He asks teacher Chai to stay and commits 300 000 baht to build a new school. The teacher offers him a book about karma.

ครูบ้านนอก
ครูบ้านนอก

Year: 1978

Thai title: ครูบ้านนอก
English title: The Rural Teacher

Rating: 5/5
Director: Surasee Phatham

Main actor: Piya Trakulrard,Noppadol Duangporn
Main actress: Wassana Sitthiweth

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A new teacher, Piya (ครูปิยะ), is sent to poor Isan (อีสาน), northeastern part of Thailand, in a remote village called Baan Nong Ma Wo (บ้านหนองหมาว้อ). There are still carts with buffaloes there. An old and derelict bus is the only link to the bigger provincial city. On the way to the village, the old bus needs to give priority to big logging concession truck. The headmaster (ครูใหญ่) shares classrooms with Piya and Phisit. Dao (ดวงดาว), young lady, is the third teacher. They teach two classrooms with many children at same time. Those are outdoor classrooms with basic roof. Children have no shoes and wear old clothes. The headmaster tries his best but he is not smart. There is a welcome ceremony for the teachers. Phisit is a butterfly with ladies. The headmaster likes playing cards. There is a puppet allegory of fighting together against evil makes us stronger. Rural teachers’ job is tough. Phisit just comes here as he couldn't find another job but Piya, who is also coming from Isan, wishes to transfer his knowledge to pupils. He is an idealistic man. The village is poor and there is a need to get water from a remote pond. Piya sees many children don't have enough food to eat so he decides to plant vegetable (ปลูกผัก) in the school garden to provide them additional food. The headmaster needs to go to the city to get rural teachers’ salary but every month the salary is cut by various fees (birthday gifts to high ranking teachers, donation to temples, visiting bordel...). Local villagers use a chaman to cure people as poor people cannot afford modern doctors (หมอรักษา). Piya is pushing for an expansion of the school. All villagers like him (เป็นคนดีไม่พ่อต้องมีเงินด้วย). Khun Mongkhon, local magnate, always makes donations to the school. Dao wishes to make a local newspaper for villagers. The village head is concerned as villagers shall not become too intelligent! During a welcome party, teacher Phisit and Piya have to box some officials to protect Dao. Phisit has to leave the village as rural teachers have no value. Dao loves this place (ยากจนแต่ใจดี). Piya wishes to be a boat for children to cross the sea between poorness, wealth and knowledge. Piya witnesses some illegal tree logging. Those people have big bad influence but Piya decides to investigate. He finds the place and takes pictures to send to local newspapers. He even takes the risk to shoot the responsible leaders. Khun Mongkhon is the leader. Newspaper is published and Mongkhon suspects Piya immediately as he is infusing social ideas into the kids. Even villagers start to challenge the ruffians. The ruffians cut trees (ตัดไม้เถื่อน) so soon there will be no forest and no water for the trees. Villagers decide to protect teacher Piya as the ruffians try to shoot him. His life is in danger. Dao wants him to leave (คนที่ทำประโยชน์ให้). There is undeclared love between Dao and Piya. Piya takes refuge in a Buddhist temple. Ruffians recruit a hitman. Piya decides to go back to teach the children as it is his duty. During a moving and sad scene where the children rush out of the school to welcome Piya, he is shot to death. This movie highlights many themes such as corruption, bad influence, rural teacher dedication, education and knowledge for children in order to fight against corrupted people. There is molam (หมอลำ) music as background music as it is the symbol of poor Isan (อีสาน), northeastern part of Thailand. The movie succeeded to reap 9M Baht in year 1978 and got two awards for best scenario and best director. Surasee Phatham has directed a remake of his own movie in 2009 as he was never happy with the number of details that were edited out. Thirty years ago too, many young people were involved in social and political activities so many filmgoers found it easy to identify with the teacher. In 1978, everyone wanted to watch action movies but when the movies "The Rural Teacher" (ครูบ้านนอก) and "The Old Scar" (แผลเก่า) were released, they were successful.

หนองหมาว้อ
หนองหมาว้อ

Year: 1979

Thai title: หนองหมาว้อ
English title:

Rating: 5/5
Director: Surasee Phatham

Main actor: Noppadol Duangporn
Main actress: Wassana Sitthiweth

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The teacher called Piya is dead but the young lady teacher continues to stay in the village. Farmers have many debts, so are forced to sell at low price the harvest before reaping. They are being cheated. The young lady teacher convinces the farmers to unite themselves in cooperatives in order to sell in common after reaping and to get the "real" market price. One hundred chariots leaded by buffaloes bring the rice into the city. But the powerful buyers don't agree... Her life is in danger.

ไผ่แดง
ไผ่แดง

Year: 1979

Thai title: ไผ่แดง
English title: Red bamboo

Rating: 5/5
Director: Permpol Choei-arun

Main actor: Sorapong Chatree,Suchao Pongwilai,Krailat Kriengkrai
Main actress: Lalana Sulawan

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Red bamboo is a novel writen by famous writer M.R. Kukrit Pramoj in 1954. It was reprinted 19 times and translated in 9 languages. It is adapted from "The Little World of Don Camillo". The movie deals about the opposition between the new faith (Communism) and the old faith (Buddhism). It is about the conflicts that arose between traditional Thai village life and the forces of modernization that were transforming the country. It takes place in Isan region, northeastern part of Thailand. It is the hot season. Kwen is a local villager but he is seen as a communist even if he doesn't fully understand the doctrine foundations. He wants to refuse the help from government. Monk and government are working together to give food to poor villagers. Evan Luang Pho Buddha statue is magically giving advice to the abbot, Sompan, as sometimes he has also doubts ansd weaknesses. Kwen, the red communist, helps villagers and challenges the local power regarding debt cycle and the current society behavior. When Kwen was a child, he was friend (สหาย) with Sompan. Kwen believes that religion is hurt by the politics as they are too close. The government uses the Buddhist religion as an ally. Both Sompan, the abbot, and Kwen, the red communist, want to help poor people but not in the same way. The abbot is seen as a traitor (ทรยศ) by the communists. The rain finally comes. Kwen thinks that religion is only helping people when they are hungry in order that later they do donations to the temple. A Chinese moneylender, called Sia, is present in the village. The villagers believe time has arrived and that communist rebellion will happen. They plan to get weapons and arrest the monks. Kwen warns his friend Sompan but he refuses to leave. Finally the rebellion was only a falso rumour. Tom is one of Kwen's partisan. Tom doesn't want to ordain 15 days but finally accepts to ease his aging mother (ไม่นับถือศาสนา). Sompan is first reluctant to accept. Another Kwen's partisan, Thip, causes trouble. Thip’s girlfriend, Kathiem, is three months pregnant. Kathiem would like to follow up traditions but Thip refuses (ไม่ย่อมแต่ง) to follow as traditions are a threat to own liberty (เสรี). Love shall prevail over traditions. Finally the wedding happens. On top of this Tom is not willing to disrobe. So Kwen is angry with Sompan (หลอกชาวบ้าน). A fake monk raises belief into spirits in order to get money from villagers but he is expelled by Sompan. Meanwhile the Chinese moneylender gets some villagers' land and rent it to them! There is still no school in the village. Sompan and Kwen support each other to help financing the school (บริจาค). As the money is not enough, Sompan gives money from the temple to help build the school (โรงเรียนประชาชน). Tom and the subdistrict headman’s daughter like each other so Tom disrobes. Tom's mother has no land anymore as she sold it to get money from the Chinese moneylender. There is an issue to decide on the location of the school. The two villages are separated by a small bridge. A meeting is organized in the Buddhist temple to solve the conflict (โรงเรียนใหม่). The school shall be built on the bridge so it is really in the middle of the two villages. But the soil now belongs to rich moneylender Sia. Sia already agreed with the district Chief Officer to build a dam so arguments raise between Sia and the villagers. The soil transfer is found as illegal as it was not officially stamped. Ruffians come with guns. So the villagers have to flee but Kwen prepares a plan to fight back. Kwen wishes to fight against corrupted officials. Villagers capture Sia and his ruffians during nighttime. Finally a high ranking official recognizes that Sia is a dishonest man and thanks the villagers for their action towards him. The school can now be completed. Collaboration between Kwen and Sompan is finally successful as Kwen accepts to ease down his communist aspirations. In 1990, a Thai TV serie (ละคร) based on the same story was produced This movie has also bee registered as National Heritage per the 2016 list released by the Thai Film Archive.

นายอำเภอคนใหม่
นายอำเภอคนใหม่

Year: 1980

Thai title: นายอำเภอคนใหม่
English title:

Rating: 4/5
Director: Phan Kam

Main actor: Sorapong Chatree,Sombat Methanee,Sor Asanajinda,Suchao Pongwilai
Main actress: Jarunee Sooksawad,Penpak Sirikul,Reuthairat Amatawanit

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In Northern Thailand, a district officer is shot in the back. He was fighting against illegal trees cut. It is the fourth officer killed on duty in five years. A new one (Sombat Methanee) is nominated. The new district officer understands very fast that a latent corruption happens and that local people (ชาวป่า) are expected to give gifts (chickens, daughter given as maid as a compensation of non paid debts...). The new district officer's adjoint is called Palat and is played by Suchao Pongwilai again with brio in the role of rogue officer. Sor Asanajinda plays the role of a brusque villager complaining indirectly regarding rampant corruption. His son Pol (Sorapong Chatree) is also very active. The minister who sent the district officer has problems with his own daughter, Nit (Jarunee Sooksawad), due to misunderstanding with his new wife. She leaves for the same village Daran Thong and becomes the local teacher. Nit has also medicine knowledge and has to face local fear of ghosts and sorcerer (หมอผี). Old people prefer using sorcerer instead of modern pills. Thanks to Nit and with Pol's leadership, the farmers ask for higher prices and debts resettlement to the trader. Local trader tries to corrupt the district officer but fails to do so. The corrupted subdistrict headman (กำนัน) and trader start to be very upset. They try to buy land as they know that a road will be built to the village but Pol asks villagers to refuse to sell. The subdistrict headman daughter Sophit is back from studying abroad. Palat is secretly fond of her. A young lady called Bukham is raped and killed by Palat. Palat accuses Pol with false proofs. Pol flees and discovers that many trees are cut illegally. Nobody speaks due to fear. The new district officer asks Pol to surrender if he is innocent. Pol's father is found hanged as he spoke too much (พูดประชด - พูดมาก) against corrupted officers. The adjoint uses local people to build the road at a cheaper price. Nit brings the villagers to the province officer to ask for full payments and she wins. Meanwhile Palat rapes the subdistrict headman daughter Sophit and strangles her. Pol's brother sees it and warns his brother. Sabin and Nit get attacked. Sabin is captured but Nit can flee. Nit and Pol come to help Sabin and bring Sophit's dead body to the subdistrict headman. This one wishes to kill Palat as revenge but gets shot before. Finally Palat gets smashed by a log in the illegal logging factory and the district officer helps to catch all ruffians. A school and hospital shall be built by the previous corrupting trader. The movie finishes happily, Nit is named school director (ครูใหญ่ใหม่), Pol is named new subdistrict headman (กำนันใหม่). This movie with social and meaningful messages also involves comedy and romance and not only pure drama. A new generation of government officials is here to replace the previous corrupted generation.

ครูดอย
ครูดอย

Year: 1982

Thai title: ครูดอย
English title: Mountain teacher

Rating: 5/5
Director: Surasee Phatham

Main actor: Sorapong Chatree,Piya Trakulrard,Doo Dook Kradon
Main actress: Wassana Sitthiweth,Nanthida Kaewbuasai

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Thai movie ครูดอย was released in year 1982. It lasts 1h50mn. Four new teachers (including Piya Trakulrard, Doo Dook Kradon and Wassana Sitthiweth) are sent to Loei in a remote village located on a mountain. They are welcomed by indifferent villagers busy doing gambling (การพนัน). Teacher Sompong is already in the village. Sompong (Sorapong Chatree) indulges in alcohol (สุรา) as he feels useless. Only one monk is left in the village. Villagers seem to be very strong here (ไม่ร่วมมือ). Those new teachers teach children and adults. The school is very basic. Teacher Sompong made a pond for villagers to avoid getting water from far away. One part of the village is under influence of a ruffian managing an underground casino and wishing to undercut influence of the village headman and teacher Sompong. Wan (Nanthida Kaewbuasai) is worried about teacher Sompong. New teachers succeed to have villagers working to build new school by flattering the ruffian. They also finish teacher Sompong's task by bringing water in the village through bamboo pipes. The ruffian feels betrayed as the merit goes back to teacher Sompong. Some old people die because of cold. Teachers organise a concert donation (บริจาคคนจน) to get warm clothes for villagers. It is a success and such remote village gets awareness. Their next action is to convince village men to stop gambling. Tempting the luck (การเสี่ยงโชค) is the only hope of poor people. The teachers buy cheated dices to win village men’s money and have it reused to improve the school. Having no more pocket money, the village men keep drinking alcohol. One of the teachers simulates being sick because of the alcohol to convince them to stop drinking. Teachers convince villagers to work together and to prepare rice fields on mountains slopes. Wan is sick during rainy season and there is no more medicine. It is a nightmare to go to the nearest city and roads are stuck in the mud. There is no electricity in the village. Good weather is back. The teachers go to sell their products at the city. When they are back, Wan is dead. It is time for the four young teachers to be allocated to somewhere else. Teacher Sompong stays as he is a mountain teacher (ครูดอย) and villagers need him. Thanks to the teachers, villagers are now able to take care about themselves, take decision and do not rely on external help only. In this movie, director Surasee Phatham uses Isan music as background. His movie shows the dedication of the teachers going in remote areas with cold winter.

มือปืน
มือปืน

Year: 1983

Thai title: มือปืน
English title: Gunman I

Rating: 5/5
Director: ChatriChalerm Yukol

Main actor: Sorapong Chatree,Krai Kanchit
Main actress: Chalita Puttamapun

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It is about the story of Sommai, a barber, who is acting as a gunman ("MEU PEUN" - มือปืน) in order to get money to cure his sick boy. He is an veteran soldier who has fought in Laos but was left behind by his superior Tanu after saving his life. Now his previous superior is a policeman involved in gunman investigations. Tanu has a reputation for killing criminals. Applying gratitude ("KATANJOO" - กตัญญู) towards his previous mate, the investigation is going slowly until a younger policeman gets involved... This film highlights conflicts between poor people (the gunman and his family), the government officials (policemen and soldiers) and wealthy influential businessmen. This movie has received 5 Thai awards. The opening scene in Gunman I, when the camera moved along and made viewers feel as though they were riding on a motorcycle with the lead character, has remained famous.

ผู้แทนนอกสภา
ผู้แทนนอกสภา

Year: 1983

Thai title: ผู้แทนนอกสภา
English title: The MP outside the Parliament

Rating: 5/5
Director: Surasee Phatham

Main actor: Sorapong Chatree,Doo Dook Kradon
Main actress:

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After successful studies in Bangkok, Boonchai (บุญชัย) represents his party for member of Parliament election in rural Northeast of Thailand. Many other candicates register to the election to become member of Parliament. There are candicates of important parties with impressive list of diploma they got abroad but can they understand the poor people problems? There is a candidate backed up by the government, who is spending a lot of money to have huge billboards and is offering free gifts with his voting number. There is a funny candidate that wishes to clean the political dirt with a broom and bring light to democracy with a lantern. Boonchai has left Isan many years to study in Bangkok and has gone through the 1976 revolution. He got voting number 8. He announced to his girlfriend, who is a teacher lady, that he is trying to become member of Parliament to help the local people but she is worried as politics is a difficult and dangerous matter in Thailand. Some candidates give money for people to buy alcohol, some others give free medicine to buy the hearts and votes of local people but they don't bother to discuss with them and listen to their problems. They just promise more gifts to come. The money they spend to buy vote, they will get it back when they are elected. Boonchai is visiting villagers also on his small motorbike but he has no gifts to offer. He is not coming only for one day to change farmers life by bringing gifts but with ideas for the next four years to change their life. One taxi driver, seduced by his program, offers Boonchai to drive him anywhere he wishes. The government candidate doesn't care to visit the people as the "stupid buffalo" farmers can be bought with money. Meanwhile other candidates compete on gifs and on the biggest speakers to make their voice louder. They look like more fruit sellers! Boonchai is a local child of the region so he knows the farmers problems. He eats same food as farmers, works with farmers and propose them solution to improve their daily life and revenue increase by shifting various cultures all over the year. Villagers like his project up to the point that he starts to be a real political threat to the candidate backed up by the government. This latter decides to use bad tactics, i.e. villagers are threatened that they will not receive subsidies any more if anybody in a village votes for him, Boonchai is also accused to be a communist. Finally he is beaten by 4 tough men but it makes him more popular as many villagers support him. He is comforted to fight against adversity. The evil candidate tries to use drunkards to disturb his political meetings but they are expelled by his supporters. The evil candidate plans an outdoor cinema projection in order to disturb Boonchai's meeting hoping that people would prefer entertainment to serious politics. But it fails also. The evil candidate decides to send a team to kill Boonchai at night time when he is back from late political meetings. He succeeds to escape to assassination and villagers protect him. People voice is growing against bad politicians. Villagers provide him a gun to defend him-self. The evil candidate decides to use a hitman to get rid of Boonchai. Boonchai dies but he still wins the election as local people vote massively for him. Good men disappear and corrupted men remain... This movie gives a real image of Thai politics thirty years ago. But did nowadays Thai politics really improve? Former PM and politician MR Kukrit Pramoj appeared in this movie. Mr Kukrit showed up briefly at the beginning of the film, playing a party leader who gives a talk to the candidates. Not long after that, a new law prohibited political parties from attracting votes by playing in films.

ครูเสือ
ครูเสือ

Year: 1984

Thai title: ครูเสือ
English title:

Rating: 4/5
Director:

Main actor: Pisarn Akraseranee,Boo Wibunnan,Kowit Wattanakul
Main actress: Supansa Nuengpirom

A Thai Chinese type businessman is offering land (ค่าที่ดิน) for school extension. Kru Seua (ครูใหญ่), school headmaster, is accepting on behalf of the school. Kru Seua (ครูเสือ) has a good reputation with all villagers (ครูดี). A new Bangkok sexy lady teacher Boot (ผู้ช่วย) is arriving at the school. Miss Boot has high expectations but Kru Seua reminds her that all teachers have same level, same room, same toilets as it is countryside school (โรงเรียนบ้านนอก). So all teachers have to follow the rules, show good behavior including appropriate clothing and proper speech! Kru Seua chases pupils up to the waterfall as they try to escape his mathematics lesson. Pupils are punished using the old way, i.e. beaten severely with a stick. Teacher Boot tries to intervene and to oppose but to no avail. Kru Seua is respected by the villagers but Boot believes his teaching methods are outdated (โบราณ) and promises herself to win over him. Some children behave badly, steal other people belongings or play betting games (ทำดียาก - ทำชั่วง่าย). There is even a small mafia (นักเลงแทนนักเรียน). Kru Seua encourages pupils to share food as some of them do not have enough to eat. A mother has her son Pleun, being a former convict, released from prison after three years. His wife has gone and his son is sick. He needs money. Chinese businessman’s grandson comes to study at Kru Seua’s school but he has a bad behavior believing he can do anything as his grandfather funds the school. Kru Seua refuses his entry as all children shall be the same in school (short hair, same uniform). The Chinese businessman argues his donations give him any right but then where is the virtue (บุญ) of doing donation if there is a hidden compensation? The child brings itching powder in the classroom. Finally unable to accept more, Kru Seua cuts himself the boy’s hair very short (หน้าที่ของครู). The grandfather goes to police to fill a complain. Kru Seua refuses to bend to bad influence. Meanwhile the kid is kidnapped by Pleun. Kru Seua knows the kidnapper Pleun who is a former student in the school. Kru Seua is an easy man, eating simple food from villagers by using hands. A romance starts between Kru Seua and Boot. Boot tries to convince Kru Seua not to dismiss following the pressure he received from the Police and the Thai Chinese businessman. They finally find Pleun at old Prasat Muang Singh Khmer temple. Kru Seua convinces him to release the child and to surrender to the police. The former convict has always seen Kru Seua as his third parents (พ่อแม่ที่สาม). Kru Seua has decided to quit his job. Despite excuses from the Thai Chinese businessman and his son, despite cries from the children and Boot, Kru Seua seems inflexible. Will he change his mind? Many Thai movies produced in years 1978 to 1984 were related to teachers such as ครูชายแดน, ครูบ้านนอก, ครูสมศรี, ครูจันทร์แรม, ครูปิยะ. Teachers are always supposed to be a reference and show perfect behavior to Thai pupils.

อิสรภาพของ ทองพูน โคกโพ
อิสรภาพของ ทองพูน โคกโพ

Year: 1985

Thai title: อิสรภาพของ ทองพูน โคกโพ
English title: Freedom of Citizen (Citizen II)

Rating: 5/5
Director: ChatriChalerm Yukol

Main actor: Sorapong Chatree,Suchao Pongwilai,Krailat Kriengkrai
Main actress:

It is the second opus of the movie Citizen. As the Citizen I movie's main actor has died, Sorapong Chatree was used instead. It is about Thongpoon Khokpoh, a convict going out of prison, and looking for his son. His son refuses to meet him as he was left over many years. His father was in prison and his mother lives abroad with a foreigner. Thongpoon wishes to get reunited with his son. The movie deals about the lack of freedom about ex prisoners, i.e. difficulty of reinsertion, difficulty to find a job, bad image - an old convict will always be a bad man. He sympathizes with a young girl, who is a pickpocket. People don't trust Thongpoon as he is former convict but he is also not trusting the young girl when she brings back money, thinking she has stolen it. A pickpocket will always be a thief. Thongpoon is a nice guy, never wishing to break rules, never lying or doing something against law. So people call him stupid or buffalo! Thongpoon has difficulty to find a job as he is too honest and always says he is a former convict. Once you're in jail, you're always in jail, in this society. Once you get out of jail, you are still branded by the evidence. He is still an outsider. Through a misunderstanding, he is also confronted to bad policemen (Suchao Pongwilai) who don't believe Thongpoon can seek redemption but the head of police trusts Thongpoon. When a car bumps him, he refuses to sue the car driver and blames his own careless mistake. Finally the car driver seeing his kindness recruits him in his restaurant for tourists. Unfortunately one of his former inmates abducts his son and threatens Thongpoon to hurt his son if Thongpoon doesn't kill his boss, who has an issue with local mafia. Thongpoon's choice is difficult and is put in analogy with an ongoing Ramayakian dance (Rama facing demons) in the restaurant. Finally Thongpoon simulates his boss' murder in order to be reunited with his son and has to work hand in hand with the policeman, who formerly looked down on him, to stop the gangsters. The policeman acknowledges his misjudment on Thongpoon. Thongpoon, his son and the young girl are leaving to Udon Thani. This film highlights conflicts between poor people (Thongpoon, the pickpocket girl), the government officials (policemen) and wealthy influential businessmen.

หมอบ้านนอก
หมอบ้านนอก

Year: 1985

Thai title: หมอบ้านนอก
English title:

Rating: 5/5
Director: Surasee Phatham

Main actor: Piya Trakulrard,Doo Dook Kradon
Main actress: Jarunee Sooksawad

Thai movie หมอบ้านนอก was released in year 1985. Directeur is Surasee Phatham. The movie was shot in Surin province. Phanom (Piya Trakulrard) became village doctor as one of his relatives died due to lack of doctor. Mountebanks (หมอเถื่อน) have no diploma so they are illegal. Some are charlatans such as Doo Dook Kradon but Phanom is useful. Such illegal doctors have their utility to the community as official doctors are often absent from remote areas. Doctor หมอผู้หญิง Kwanta (Jarunee Sooksawad) is the first doctor with diploma in this district (แพทย์ปริญญาจากกรุงเทพฯ). She asks Thai Police to stop the fake doctors selling fake medicine to villagers (ชาวบ้าน). A policeman is shot in the village. Kwanta doesn't have the right equipment so Phanom is helping to remove the bullet. Phanom wishes to stop doing this job as there is now Kwanta as official doctor. Illegal village doctors are arrested by Police. Kwanta disrupts local illegal business so some people try to kill her (ฆ่าคนดีๆ). Phanom is injured instead. Police believes Phanom is behind the murder tentative on Kwanta. Finally the mastermind is arrested. Phanom surrenders to the police and requests to help a villager a last time. He saves an elder man through a blood transfusion. In the jail, he assists to a TV show showing Kwanta receiving an award. She gives a praise to Phanom and succeeds to get an official diploma for him so that he can practice legally.

ครูสมศรี
ครูสมศรี

Year: 1986

Thai title: ครูสมศรี
English title: Somsee

Rating: 5/5
Director: ChatriChalerm Yukol

Main actor: Sor Asanajinda,Settha Sirachaya
Main actress: Chalita Puttamapun

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It is about a big company, which wants to expel slum inhabitants in order to build a modern complex. A young teacher called Somsri is representing the slum and is fighting against the company. This movie shows the power of big Thai companies over slums, Thai rich people power over poor people and the Thai useless bureaucracy. Hopefully a Thai official and a lawyer are helping the teacher Somsri as the slum inhabitants are fully in their rights. Unfortunately, the big company doesn't hesitate to use strong ways such a fire, threats and gunmen. The slum finally wins but the lawyer and teacher Somsri lose their life. The movie is based on an activist teacher in the Klong Toei slum area. The idea on which the movie was based is the real life of teacher Pratheep Ungsongtham. She was called the slum angel.

เขาชื่อกานต์
เขาชื่อกานต์

Year: 1988

Thai title: เขาชื่อกานต์
English title: Dr Karn

Rating: 4/5
Director: Ruj Ronnapop

Main actor: Waruth Woratum
Main actress: Jintara Sookkapat

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This movie is a remake of the movie "Dr Karn" shot in 1973 but with new actors. The previous version was directed by ChatriChalerm Yukol. Doctor Karn (หมอ) is a new doctor with strong principles. He wishes to treat all people. There is no priority for rich people as he is a public doctor (หมอรัฐบาล). Doctor Kan gets scolded by his management for this. Modern doctors have no wish to go to Isan poor region in northeast of Thailand. During his childhood his mother died while his father was bringing her to the nearest doctor by an ox cart. In rural areas, there are a few doctors so people have to travel far. He meets Areuthai (หฤทัย), his future wife, in Bangkok. Doctor Karn’s dream is to be a rural doctor (หมอบ้านนอก) to help and support poor people in Isan area. Karn and Areuthai know each other for 3 months only and decide to marry. Areuthai’s former boyfriend, Thomon, is disappointed and promises to wait until Karn stops loving her. They go to Isan region in a remote village using train and local bus through bumpy roads and dry fields. The local district officer (นายอำเภอ) welcomes them. He is quite rigid on standards. But his subordinates are playing cards with other colleagues and villagers! Areuthai discovers life on rural side with no fridge and no oven. Life is difficult (ลำบาก) for Areuthai as she comes from a rich family in Bangkok. There is no electricity after 9pm. First crisis with the district officer happens as he sent the nurses to work away but they still get paid with their governmental salary shared 50% / 50% with them and the district officer. The doctor Karn discovers that local villagers have to pay again for medicine despite it is already paid by government (ยาให้ใช้ไม่ใช่ให้ขาย). He starts to very popular so causing displeasure to the district officer. Doctor Karn is just and fair (ยุติธรรม). His wife helps as a nurse. This movie is a critic of corrupted officers (ราชการ) who prevent the country to develop properly. Doctor Karn doesn't do this job for money but to help poor villagers. Doctor Karn is working for the villagers’ health benefit but the district officer is working for his own benefit. He refuses to authorize doctor Karn to open a nighttime station (สถานีอนามัย) in case of emergency. Villagers shall go to the doctor's home! Areuthai wishes to be back to Bangkok as she misses her expensive beauty creams and her mum. Doctor Karn has issue with illegal medicine seller protected by the district officer (หมอจะเดือดร้อน). The district officer's wife tries to brain wash Areuthai about having her own house and being able to have good a school abroad for children. How can Areuthai get this with the small salary of a rural doctor? Areuthai argues that doctor Karn doesn't love her as he doesn't wish to improve their living. Doctor Karn is divided between pleasing his wife and helping poor villagers to get access to healthcare. Areuthai goes back to Bangkok to make a break. Doctor Karn stays as he cannot leave his patients. Areuthai's friend asks her to convince doctor Karn to open a clinic in Bangkok. Money is easy here. The former boyfriend, Thomon (โตมร), still wants to meet Areuthai. Areuthai accepts to meet him but for friendship only as she is married. They have a car accident as Thomon is upset that Areuthai still wishes to back to countryside. Doctor is diligent to do his duty (หมอทำหน้าที่). The district officer is having an illegal casino and protects it through his clique (ลูกน้อง). A fight erupts and one is seriously injured. Doctor Karn can do nothing as he lost too much blood already. Only way is to send him to hospital. Doctor Karn is now aware of the casino. He starts to know too much things. Doctor Karn befriends with a local policeman who indulged in alcohol as he can do nothing to stop the district officer. One evening the doctor’s house is shot a few times as a threatening warning. Aware of the accident through a telegram, doctor Karn goes back to Bangkok and finds that Areuthai has lost memory due to accident. Thomon (ลูกเศรษฐี) doesn't want Areuthai to be back with doctor Karn so he organizes his mutation abroad. The doctor headmaster doesn’t understand obstinate doctor Karn regarding rural people (คนบ้านนอกโง่หลอกง่าย). He is forced to accept the post or be dismissed. The district officer is under corruption investigation (ถูกย้าย) and he believes doctor Karn denounced him to Bangkok authorities. Finally doctor Karn and Areuthai will go abroad. Doctor Karn needs to go back to countryside a last time to get back his belongings. His policeman friend wants him to help regarding unwanted pregnancy abortion but he cannot do as it is against law. If policemen don't respect law who will respect the law? He unfortunately doesn't come back as he is shot dead as a revenge of the district officer. Doctor Karn was a good man (เขาเป็นคนดี). This story was also adapted 2 times for television in 1980 and 2011.

ครูไหวใจร้าย
ครูไหวใจร้าย

Year: 1989

Thai title: ครูไหวใจร้าย
English title:

Rating: 3/5
Director:

Main actor: Santisuk Promsiri,Settha Sirachaya,Kiet Kijcharouen
Main actress: Jintara Sookkapat

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A new lady teacher (ครูคนใหม่) called Sawai (Jintara Sookkapat) is arriving in a remote school (ตำบลเล็กๆ) in northern Thailand. Veteran actor Settha Sirachaya is the school director (ครูใหญ่). Kampaeng (Santisuk Promsiri) doctor is an old friend (เพื่อนที่ดีตลอดไป) also working in the area. Sawai gives strong lessons to pupils not following school rules (มันเกินไป). Strong warnings are given against cigarette and alcohol. Wai puts to herself some strict rules to be a model for pupils. Kampaeng understands it will be almost impossible to have a romantic relationship with Wai as she puts her duty first. Kampaeng gets an award to go studying in Germany but he doesn't want to be far from Wai. He finally leaves convinced by Wai. Many years have passed. Wai is still single. Teacher Wai gets called evil (ใจร้าย) but parents don't dare to tell her as they are all former pupils of teacher Wai. Wai starts to realise what people think about her. Teacher Wai has often back pain recently. She has to go urgently to hospital. Many people around teacher Wai promise to change their behavior and wish Wai to recover fast. They all finally realize that behind her severity, teacher Wai is working hard to build good people. Teacher Wai finally comes back and is welcomed in the village by a huge number of students and parents. This movie highlights dedication of some hardworking teachers going in some remote areas to spread knowledge, Buddhist basis and putting school values even before their private life. Movie ครูไหวใจร้าย was shot in 1989 and includes famous stars Santisuk Promsiri and Jintara Sookkapat. Veteran comic Kiet Kijcharouen, always present in "BOONCHU" (บุญชู) movies serie and "BAAN PHI POP" (บ้านผีปอบ) movies serie, is also present.

คนแซ่ลี้
คนแซ่ลี้

Year: 1993

Thai title: คนแซ่ลี้
English title: Immigration service

Rating: 3/5
Director:

Main actor: Kriengkrai Unhanan
Main actress:

Jack refuses to be a scapegoat and to be involved in a big corruption scheme managed by his boss. As a killer is trying to get rid of him, he has to flee in Switzerland. There he meets another Thai man, who has fled for similar issue. They wish to fight against the corrupted Thai society but there are too many people in the system and the numbers keep increasing. They alone cannot possibly change anything when the majority still sticks to the old system. A hitman finds Jack back in Switzerland. A young woman, who in fact Jack's boss daughter, is helping him. Is she truly helping Jack or protecting her father? This movie grabs 10 awards.

กำแพง
กำแพง

Year: 1999

Thai title: กำแพง
English title: The Wall

Rating: 4/5
Director:

Main actor: Phairoj Jaising
Main actress:

A rich young boy is fond of a girl living in a slum. The boy's father, who is deputy, has decided to expropriate the slum inhabitants in order to build an estate. The young boy decides to help the inhabitants to build a wall around the slum. Their love story is endangered by the slum inhabitants, who doubt about the young boy sincerity, and his father, who doesn't accept a poor bride and doesn't hesitate to destroy the slum by fire. Shall their love overcome all these obstacles?

ครูบ้านนอก
ครูบ้านนอก

Year: 2010

Thai title: ครูบ้านนอก
English title: To Sir, With Love

Rating: 4/5
Director: Surasee Phatham

Main actor: Mum Jokmok,Panna Rittikrai
Main actress:

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Surasee Phatham has directed a remake of his own movie in 2009 as he was never happy with the number of details that were edited out. In “Rural Teacher” movie remake, most of the actors speak Isan / Lao language. The story is the same but many details have been changed. For the complete story, please read the above 1978 “Rural teacher” movie review. The village name has changed from Baan Nong Ma Wo (บ้านหนองหมาว้อ) to Baan Nong Hi Yai (บ้านหนองฮีใหญ่). The movie features many Isan country side ceremonies and customs such as lying by a fire after a child birth (to purify of all poisons and influences from ghosts), food (frog, snake, rice alcohol - เหล้าขาว). It reminds a bit of "A Child of the Northeast" ("LUK ISAN" - ลูกอีสาน) movie. Teacher Piya is now called Teacher Pichet. Teacher Pichit is now called Teacher Somchat. The headmaster is more funny and is played by actor Mum Jokmok. Famous action director Panna Rittikrai is also having a role as a strange man living away from the village. The headmaster plays lottery while teaching pupils. The children often miss school as they need to work for their parents or parents have no money to buy school uniforms for them. There are no chairs for children to sit. The headmaster and teacher Somchat need to ride horse to go to city. They need to buy their own teacher clothes. Pichet has pushed for the school modernization. New clothes offered by the local influential man owning the illegal logging concession. The main actor, Pichet Kongkarn, is a singer. He is singing a few songs related to Isan people leaving their village to go to work in cities and leaving behind grandparents to take care of babies, related to forest kindness (บุญคุณของป่า) or related to knowledge (ความรู้) and kindness (ความดี). Ruffians wear mask to frighten the villagers (ผีหลอก) so that they don't mingle inside the forest. Pichet finds poison in the forest. It is used by ruffians for people to get sick. Pichet finds the huge logging concession. The journalist head doesn't dare publishing the news and pictures. Pichet and the headmaster motivate the villagers to fight against the ruffians. A young journalist finally dares editing the news. Villagers fight with ruffians and one villager is shot. Panna Rittikrai can even show his fighting skills. The movie ends tragically for the teacher. The new version was released 2 days before National Teachers Day (วันครู) in 2010. The Culture Ministry, regarded "Kru Baan Nok" as a promotional tool and provided some support. As expected the movie didn’t raise as much interest as 31 years ago as Thai society has evolved. Thai film industry has become more and more centralized with a Bangkok mindset. Politics and social commentary are now divorced from pure entertainment movies. Students and young people are not concerned about politics as they used to be. The movie might have been more successful if the remake was taking place in 2010 and talked about modern issues as corruption and hitmen are still present nowadays. In 1978, teacher Thim Bun-ing was shot after denouncing a bribery at the school construction of his village in Satuek District (Buriram). A teacher and activist, Khru Thim fought hard to see that Isan children had more educational opportunities and more efficient educational programmes. A group of teachers in Isan, wanting to keep his ideology alive, established the Foundation in his memory in 1983. Maybe "The Rural Teacher" movie was based on this real story.



Some social problem movies (หนังสะท้อนสังคม) deal about environmental problems (deforestation, coral destruction, sea overexploitation and so on...).

อุกาฟ้าเหลือง
อุกาฟ้าเหลือง

Year: 1980

Thai title: อุกาฟ้าเหลือง
English title: The Yellow Sky

Rating: 5/5
Director: ChatriChalerm Yukol

Main actor: Sor Asanajinda
Main actress:

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ChatriChalerm Yukol portrays environmental problems in this movie about the sea overexploitation in South of Thailand. Sam is a young fisherman living with an old man. Sam has a lazy girlfriend called Boonta. The old man has also adopted a young girl, Dookmai, 10 years ago when her parents died in a forceful storm over the sea. Such forceful storm accompanied with a yellowing sky is called อุกาฟ้าเหลือง. The old man lives in harmony with the sea and blames fishermen who uses grenades to catch fish. These grenades kill many fishes and destroy the coral, which hosts fishes. Once the coral is dead, fishes disappear. It is an easy way to get immediately many fishes but without thinking about the future impacts. It is forbidden by law but a local politician with the fishermen boss is preventing any changes. Boonta wants a better life and convinces Sam to leave the old man in order to work with other fishermen and earn more money. Sam is working hard on a big drifter with huge nets that catch big, small fishes and even species that are not edible. if fishermen catch small fishes, those small fishes can never grow and reproduce them-selves. The old man successfully succeeds to have the sea police to capture a fishboat using grenades to catch fishes. One fisherman group leader promises to get his revenge. Meanwhile the local politician and the fishermen boss have arguments. The local politician hires a hitman to kill him. The hitman knows Boonta since her youth. Boonta is seduced by the man as he is offering to her an opportunity to leave the South and go to Bangkok. They become lovers. The fishermen boss is killed but before his death tells everything to Sam. Sam repeats to Boonta, who then tells her lover, the hitman. Following a tragic chase in the mangrove, the hitman kills her and decides to get rid of Sam also. Followed by the hitman and the fisherman group leader, Sam, who is injured, take refuges in the old man's house. The old man, knowing that another forceful storm is coming, goes to face the hitman in order to slow him down. He dies but both the hitman and the fisherman group leader disappear within the sea due to forceful storm. Those who hurted the sea have been punished by the sea. It is certainly Sor Asanajinda's best role ever as an old fisherman respecting the sea.

ร้อยป่า
ร้อยป่า

Year: 1986

Thai title: ร้อยป่า
English title:

Rating: 5/5
Director: Chalong Pukdeewichit

Main actor: Bin Banleurit,Somchai Samipak,Taksin Jampol,Manop Aussawathep,Rith Luecha
Main actress: Mai Charoeunpura

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Thai movie ร้อยป่า was released in year 1986 and directed by veteran Chalong Pukdeewichit. Luang Ta is taking care of an orphaned boy called Seua (ลูกศิษย์วัด). Seua (Bin Banleurit) sympathizes with young girl Paew but gets an enemy as Anirut (ลูกผู้ดี). Years passed. They are now adults. Luang Ta dies. Seua goes to Lampang to do forest staff studies. He meets Srinuan. In Srinuan's disco, he protects Somchai (Somchai Samipak) as พ่อเลี้ยง against a murder tentative. During studies, he finds that teck forest has few trees left (ตรวจป่า). He meets Boon Ying and presents himself as new forest staff (พนักงานป่าใหม่). He tries to prevent ruffians led by Theum (Taksin Jampol) to cut illegally trees (ทำรายป่าไม่ได้). Seua gets his degree and is sent at Thai Burmese border. He realises that Paew was the one to support him financially during his studies. พ่อเลี้ยง Ithi (Manop Aussawathep), owner of a company allowed to cut 2000 trees, tries to corrupt Seua (เก็บเงินของคุณเลย) to cut more trees. Ruffians are sent to kill Seua but Theum and Leum being around help him. แม่เลี้ยง Saenthong (Mai Charoeunpura) wishes to get authorisation for her trees. Seua has issues with Nok (Rith Luecha), leader of elephant keepers. Seua checks the trees deeply in the forest and gives approval (ราชการดีๆยังมีอยู่ครับ). Back to the village, they found that Nok has taken all elephants. Hopefully Theum lends them some elephants to ensure the company is not stuck. Seua rejects Saenthong's love as he still thinks about Paew. Ithi is the one trying to close Saenthong's company as he is joining shares (ร่วมหุ้น) with a Bangkok company led by Anirut, engaged with Paew. Leum is captured and killed by ruffians with a chainsaw. Saenthong is also kidnapped. Seua revenges Leum through a chainsaw fighting with Nok. It is time for Seua to neutralise Ithi. Hopefully พ่อเลี้ยง Somchai and Theum give a hand to Seua as he is in a bad situation versus many ruffians. All ruffians are killed. Police arrives. Theum prefers to die gun in the hand instead of surrendering. Suea leaves as a lonely cowboy saddened by the death of Theum. An earlier version with Mitr Chaibancha and Petchara Chaowarat was released in year 1963.

คนเลี้ยงช้าง
คนเลี้ยงช้าง

Year: 1987

Thai title: คนเลี้ยงช้าง
English title: The Elephant Keeper

Rating: 5/5
Director: ChatriChalerm Yukol

Main actor: Sorapong Chatree
Main actress: Duangdeuan Jithaisong

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It is about forest exploitation by rich people. Boonsong is an elephant keeper, who is having debts with a local and influent pawner. The pawner is supported by a local corrupted police officer. Kamroon is a ranger fighting against illegal loggers in order to protect the forest. Some gunmen try to get rid of Kamroon but Boonsong helps him. Boosong has to do illegal logging in order to pay back his debt to the pawner. Kamroon wants to help him but is killed by the corrupted policeman, who also wants to suppress Boonsong... This movie puts the stress on forest diminishing size due to overexploitation and illegal logging, elephants lacking work as the forest is getting smaller, corrupted policemen, influential people escaping troubles, illiterate poor people exploited by rich Chinese pawners, companies possessing official logging concessions and cheating by adding illegal logging, the helplessness of the simple people as well as the animals caught up in this struggle. The film failed at box office and lost around 7 millions baht. The long history of debate around the Chinese control over business in Thailand is one of the most deep and daring assertions in this movie. This movie touches deeply controversial issues such as the Thai state failing to protect its people against illegal interests. During the filming in the Northeast of Thailand local gangsters, probably working for illegal logging interest, attacked the film crew and one member was killed. The Culture Ministry registers 25 Thai classic films each year at the National Film Heritage Registry. This movie is part of the 25 films heritage list announced on 04 October 2014, which is Thai Movies Conservation Day.

2022 สึนามิ วันโลกสังหาร
2022 สึนามิ วันโลกสังหาร

Year: 2009

Thai title: 2022 สึนามิ วันโลกสังหาร
English title: 2022 Tsunami

Rating: 3/5
Director: Toranong Srichua

Main actor: Suchao Pongwilai,Choomporn Theppitak
Main actress:

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This movie takes place in 2022 eighteen years after the 2004 Tsunami. Three young people, i.e. Phu, Cindy and Phi Phi, are working with Dr Siam. The three young people participate to events and demonstrations to enhance population awareness regarding the worrying climate changes. Doctor Siam has lost his son during 2004 tsunami. Since he has worked on an alarm system to detect tsunami and earthquakes. Phu and Cindy are traumatised by 2004 tsunami events. In 2022, the climate has changed a lot. Thailand is no more safe regarding earthquakes. Three false alarms have been already raised by Dr Siam so the prime minister is in difficult position towards his coalition partner complaining that population evacuation hurts Thailand business. His main coalition partner wishes to replace the current prime minister and his son is a corrupted real estate investor only seeing his own interest. He is selling drugs also and wishes to expel Moken people from his paradise island. Nobody can stop him as he is the son of a politician. Rawai, a Moken, warns Dr Siam, regarding separations under the sea announcing underwater volcanoes explosions. Despite the danger Doctor Siam goes to his underwater lab to get important data and sacrifices his life. There is an urgent need to evacuate Bangkok due to coming 30m high tsunami waves. The mother nature takes revenge. The movie includes references to monarchy, Buddhism and Thai nation in a way similar to 1970s movies. Big earthquakes happen. Bangkok is submerged. The Prime minister is a modern politician capable of sacrifice for his nation and people. From his helicopter, he saves children from drowning but remains stranded on their school bus as the helicopter is overloaded already. A miracle happens as the giant Buddha statue in front of Bangkok gets detached from its pedestal, floats and gets the Prime Minister in its hand preventing him from drowning. The coalition partner dies as his luxury boat is overwhelmed by the huge waves (ความดีต้องชนะความชั่ว). The Doctor Siam body is wrapped into a Thai flag. The movie plays on the environmental and disaster films wave in 2009 (Home, 2012...). It has an environmental message that we all need to change our behavior to save the planet. It raises various issues (corrupted politicians, business interest versus citizen interest, sea-based Moken minority situation, society debauchery). Effective Fx are used but not good enough to make it believable.



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