• Panu Saeng-Xuto
    • Thailand
    • 2013
    • 20 min
    • European Premiere
    • Emerging Voices from Southeast Asia, IDFA DOC U Competition
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    The teenaged Tay is a ladyboy, or "kathoey," as members of this relatively well-tolerated transgender group are called in Thailand. These are people who take on a traditional female role, and some describe them as a third sex. The documentary starts with Tay looking out over the twilit city. Offscreen, the filmmaker asks him a question: “Do you think you made a mistake that you are now in the media?” Tay answers, “I kind of do.” The voice then asks, “If you could go back in time, what would you have changed or fixed?”  Tay replies, “I would not try to kill myself again.” Interviews with sympathetic fellow students and a teacher who is also a kathoey demonstrate the level of acceptance of his orientation at his Christian school Saint Joseph Mueang-Ake. This becomes most triumphantly clear when Tay appears at a school Christmas party in a beautiful red dress. But as his tearful mother explains, a single intolerant and violent teacher drove him to attempt suicide. Elsewhere in the film, we see Tay going about his daily life, traveling to and from school, and silently touching up his makeup in front of the mirror.


    • 20 min
    • color
    • DCP
    • Spoken languages: Thai
    • Subtitles in: English
    Panu Saeng-Xuto
    Panu Saeng-Xuto for On-air Production
    Panu Saeng-Xuto, Aukrit Pornsumpunsuk
    Panu Saeng-Xuto
    Screening copy
    On-air Production

    IDFA history

    European Premiere
    Emerging Voices from Southeast Asia
    IDFA DOC U Competition

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    IDFA history