ACF Asian Cinema Fund

Script Development Fund

2011 Script Development Fund

LIST Suriya
Category Asian Project
Project Suriya
Director Wisit SASANATIENG
Country Thailand
Director's Profile Wisit Sasanatieng began his film career by writing [Dang Bireley’s and the Young Gangsters] in 1997 and [Nang Nak] in 1999, a year he also marked his directorial debut with [Tears of the Black Tiger]. The film was awarded Dragons & Tigers award for Young Cinema at the Vancouver International Film Festival in 2000. It was also an official selection at Cannes 2001 in the category of Un Certain Regard. His second film, [Citizen Dog] was the official selection at the 58th Locarno International Film Festival and also won awards at the 10th Fantasia: North America's Premier Genre Film Festival at Montreal, Canada. [Citizen Dog] was included in the top ten best movies in the world for 2005 as voted by Time Magazine.
At Korat, Northeast Thailand, Suriya is an ingenious boxer whose origin is shrouded in mystery. He’s scrawny and sickly-looking, but as soon as he steps into the ring he becomes a fast and furious killer famed for his “Double-Kick-Double-Elbow” move and not a single opponent has ever lasted beyond the third round.
He lives on booze, and he calls cheap whorehouses his home. After each win, he’ll collect his prize money and quietly leave, without basking in any glory. Soon his reckless lifestyle inflicts him with a sexual disease. Fighting now for his life, he still goes into the ring, but is a shadow of his former self, with one eye nearly blind from syphilis. After his last fight, which he quits after the fourth round, thereby maintaining his reputation of never being knocked out, he drowns himself in drink for the remainder of his life. He may have lost his will to live, his money, and his sanity, but never surrendered the mystery of his existence.
Director's Note
This is a true story from a book I read of a mysterious Muay Thai boxer who lived in the 1940s in the Northeast of Thailand. I’d read it again and again when I was young and the story left an indelible impression on me. One day the book disappeared without a trace and I could not find a new copy anywhere. However, the story it tells was still there in my mind the whole time. I had lost the book for nearly 20 years when it was returned to me from a son of the author, in an unbelievable coincidence that can only be called destiny. Now it’s been 15 years since I’ve had the book back, and it’s time to turn it into a feature film as I promised myself. The film will also be the proof of my undying faith in the fate of Suriya.
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