"In a moment before they must grow up and move on, a childhood is a world still filled with hopes and dreams, a world still filled with innocence."
Thai name of this documentary film might raise some eyebrows with the question of what the movie is actually all about. Some might relate the word with a Thai teenager slang like "Dek Naew" (which refers to cool guys & gals.) In fact, this movie simply tells a true story of teachers and students at "Ban Mae Toh" school in Sameang district, Chaing Mai province of northern Thailand. The school offers compulsory education from Primary 1 (1st grade level) to Mattayom 3 (9th grade level) for hill tribe students whose houses are some hundred kilometers away from the school. Thus, the principal, who came to this district 20 years ago, decided to provide an accommodation including dormitory and three meals per day for those students who are in need. In this 100-minutes documentary which was shot over one-year time, the everyday life of both teachers and students are shown from the moment they wake up till the time they go to bed. We’ll have a chance to follow especially a group of Mattayom 3 students from the beginning of the first semester till the graduation ceremony. One of the most highlight moment in the movie might be a field trip to the ocean for these hilltribe students, who have never seen the sea before in their life. Before you even realize, you might find yourself so close to these children that you could actually feel their happiness, hope, hardship and despair through this film.
This documentary is co-produced and co-directed by Nisa "Nok" Kongsri, a former veteran advertisement director, and Areeya "Pop" Chumsai, a former Thailand beauty queen, and it’s the first movie making experience for both of them. They prove to be a powerful team to produce this marvelous documentary. Without a script and setting, the movie follows the theme set by Areeya 5 years ago when she first met with the principal of Ban Mae Toh school and his students at the beach. As astonishing as it could be, the excitement of the children who saw the sea for the first time in their life captivated her and she determined to share this moment with everyone through a movie as it could perfectly describe the feeling of these children, at least it’s better than a book or a photograph could do. This is certainly true. In the movie, the scene which these young girls and boys running as fast as they could towards the sea with their cries of joy is rejuvenating, full of excitement and natural. The movie would definitely cleanse your soul and make you feel younger and hopeful like those hill tribe children.
For the notes, the movie is an official selection for the 10th Pusan International Film Festival and the third Bangkok World Film Festival. There will be a limited free screening sessions at Lido Multiplex 2 theater on the weekend of 19-20 November 2005. You don’t have to pay for the tickets but the directors encourage those who feel touched by the story to donate some money for Bann Mae Toh school. The donation box will be provided at the venue. All donations to the school for food and scholarship funds for these children can also be made through the Bangkok Bank, Sameang branch under the account name of "Ban Mae Toh Education Fund," the saving account number: 544-011992-2.
5 stars out of 5 – recommend to everyone, it’s real life.
For more information of the film, please visit the official web site at pig-o’-nine media: <http://www.pigonine.com>