The story is set in the southern part of Thailand in the 1970’s. At the age of 13, a Muslim boy named Hujan decided to quit his elementary school at Primary 5 (5th grade level) and become an ice-cream peddler to earn some money to help his widowed laborer father and let his younger brother and sister have a chance to study. Even though he was the top of the class at school, he was so responsible as a big brother that he couldn’t stand seeing his father working alone. One day at the train station, he met a girl named Mimpi, his former classmate, who also left the school to assist her family business. She introduced Hujan to a friend who works as an illegal rice smuggler on the Thai-Malaysian border. Without choices as he needed more money for his family, Hujan got deeply involved with this illegal and dangerous work which was directly against his Islamic belief of being good…
This movie is based on the novel with the same name. In fact, the novel won the national book award in 1978 and was selected by the Toyota Foundation to be translated into Japanese in 1981. The movie was first released in Thailand in 1985 and won seven national movie awards including Best Pictures in the following year. As for the international release, the movie was recognized as the best feature film at Hawaii International Film Festival in 1986. The national committee of Thai culture also recommends this movie as one of hundred movies that Thai people should watch.
The story involving the hardship of children is always touching. There is no exception in this movie. Hujan’s good intention represents a child’s heart of gold. With chances and good guidance, he would grow up to be a good man who could contribute to his country regardless of what religious he believes in. In fact, children should be taken great care of like flowers in order for them to bloom beautifully.
In the middle of the current affair of southern unrest in Thailand, I highly recommend this movie to all. It’s showing not only a life in the southern part of Thailand, but also a sub-context of peace and good deeds of Islamic belief. If this movie was released now instead of 20 years ago, it might have been banned by the board of censorship because there are too many scenes of young actors smoking cigarettes. It’s funny to see how the concern of health has increased in the past decade while the life of the children in rural area of Thailand hardly gets any better. Isn’t it ironic?
For more information, please visit Five Stars Production official website.