Documentary Film About Muay Thai in Thailand
By Mike LNg
Amid many of the new projects I get emailed about regularly one in particular really caught my eye: Lumpinee. Lumpine is a documentary film about the famous stadium from the perspective of Thaiboxers. There have been some prior documentaries about Muay Thai that have run the spectrum from being blatantly exploitative and over glamorized to others that were pretty gritty and realistic. I am pretty hopeful about this one though since both director and producer are native Thais (though both went to film school abroad).
From the prepared treatment of Lumpinee the film is described on the official film website:
The story takes place at a boxing camp in a small community in southern Thailand. Destiny leads kids of varied backgrounds and purposes to travel to the boxing camp. Some join the camp because they love boxing. Some are homeless drifters; impoverished, drug addicted, or charged with filching. Some simply need a shelter, kids who view Thai boxing as lifeʼs last resort. They live together in this boxing camp that turns into a small society filled with both friendship and conflict – all centering and leaning on Thai boxing and Uncle Sak, the campʼs owner. The boxing camp thus resembles a juvenile rehab home or a mental rehab center. Its strict rules of behavior and rigid boxing training serve as potent medicines in rectifying the kidsʼ mind and body, and Uncle Sakʼs loving kindness towards the kids inspires them to look up to him as an adopted father. Uncle Sak, in turn, aims to breed the supreme Thai boxing from the South, so that one day his boxers could make their way up the rank and have the chance to fight against Bangkok giant campsʼ boxers. His ultimate dream: Lumpinee Stadium Thai Boxing Championship Belts.A budding boxing life not only gives the kids a new life but also grants them the vision of hope. They open up their mind, revealing theirdream, on a journey that the only thing available for them to hold on to is determination and faith. They journey ahead in a quest for victory andsocial acceptance, perhaps attainable in the short moment when the winnerʼs hand is help up high on the ring, the only lifeʼs greatest meritthey want to seize.