I saw "ok baytong" yesterday in the cinema, a Thai movie about... Well about religion in Thailand. I found it very interesting. about Buddhism, especially.
it's about a monk, whose sister died in a bomb explosion, Muslim terrorism...
he comes to live in baytong, this nice city (looks nice in the movie) in south Thailand, to take care of the his sister's daughter. He's discovering "normal" life, as he's not a monk anymore. It was funny but that's not what I will remember about the movie: I was really impress by the end of the movie.
important details, many Muslims live in the area. And during the whole movie, tum, the ex-monk gets many reasons to hate Muslims:
his sister died because of Muslim terrorism, the daughter will be taken away from him by her Muslim dad living in Malaysia (he first didn't want to take care of her but change his mind), and last but not least: the girl he obviously love (he's discovering love) has a Muslim boyfriend and despite what I was waiting for, she will not leave him for tum but convert to Islam!
the ex-monk is suffering a lot but what he learned in the temple helps him to go with it... The happy end? Well he's fine and can finally ride a bicycle! I was really impressed!
http://www.nationmultimedia.com/ about the movie's realisator Nonzee
"Like the ex-monk character in his new film ‘OK Baytong’, director Nonzee Nimibutr succeeds by showing his willingness to let go and find life’s rhythm."
"During his own stint in the monkhood a few years back, Nonzee wondered about the meaning of Buddhism and its role in Thai society. "We call ourselves Buddhist, but do we really understand the Buddha's teachings?" he asks."
"Nonzee set and shot his film in Baytong because of the Southern town is a good example for ethnic groups living and working together. Tham's struggle to not hate those who killed his sister and to live in peace are themes in the film."
Tham or Tum... i have some difficulties with thai names!