The Iron Ladies

Directed by Yongyooth Thongkonthun

An international hit, the first Thai film ever to be released in the UK announced the arrival of a vibrant national cinema. And what a way to start! The infectious comedy is based on actual events: In 1996, the Thai male national volleyball championship was won by a team consisting mostly of gays, transvestites and transsexuals. This is their story. Championship-winning coach Bee, a lesbian, is brought in to revive the fortunes of the Lampang team. When the egotistical macho ‘star’ player leads a mass walkout, Bee must rebuild the team from the remaining two players – Mon and Jung, drag queens on and off court. After they recruit a few friends, Bee finds herself coaching a team of Khatuey (ladyboys), with one token straight, as ‘The Iron Ladies’ reach the national championships. With its witty script and charismatic ensemble of characters, the film delivers its call for tolerance and equality with great humour, charm – and bounce. ‘Make no mistake about it, if this were not a subtitled film, from Thailand of all places, this movie would be a hit on the scale of PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT, a joyously, comic occasion, as heartwarming as it is outrageous. When this film is shown they will be cheering in the aisles.’ Mansel Stimpson, Gay Times

105 minutes

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