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How to Win at Checkers (Every Time)

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How to Win at Checkers (Every Time)

Directed by Josh Kim

  • Thailand, Indonesia, USA 2015; 80 min
  • Original version: Thai
  • Genre: Drama

  • Thai submission for the Academy Awards

  • From the director of FOLDING CITY presented at TorinoFilmLab Meeting Event


The poor outlying districts of Bangkok are a world where you grow up very quickly. After both their parents die, 11-year-old Oat, his little sister and his older brother Ek move in with their aunt. Ek works in a bar for male prostitutes and transvestites. His relationship with Jai, the son of rich parents, began when he was still at school. Their uneven love for one another is put to the test when the day of the annual conscription arrives; this is when a lottery decides who must do military service and who can stay at home. Young Oat steals money from the local mafia boss in order to buy their beloved brother and family breadwinner out of the army. His actions have dramatic and traumatic consequences. Told from the younger brother's point of view, the film takes a refreshingly unadorned and impartial look at an essentially loving environment where social conditions are governed by venality, corruption and false ideals.

Director's Statement

The relationship between siblings, more so even than that between parents and children, is one of the most important and long-lasting relationships that a person could have in his or her lifetime. The stories in the book, ​Sightseeing, by Rattawut Lapcharoensap exposed me to a world that I had never experienced. Yet, the characters were people that I could easily relate to - especially the two brothers in the short story, “At the Café Lovely”. The dynamic between the siblings deepened my understanding of how poverty, politics and the loss of innocence can make or break such a precious bond. And while my brother never took me on a night out like the one in the story did, maybe this was for the better - for the things I never saw, and the desperate things I never learned to do – at such a young age.








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