How to Win at Checkers (Every Time)

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    How to Win at Checkers (Every Time)

    Directed by

    Thailand, Indonesia, USA

    2015

    80 min

    • Thai

    Drama

    Thai submission for the Academy Awards

    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.

    Festivals

    Credits

    Cast
    Thira Chutikul
    Ingarat Damrongsakkul
    Iirah Wimonchailerk
    Arthur Navarat
    Vatanya Thamdee
    Warattha Kaew-on
    Natarat Lakha
    Anawat Patnawanitchakun
    Kovit Wattanakul
    Nanthita Khamphiranon
    Screenplay
    Josh Kim
    Cinematography
    Nikorn Sripongwarakul
    Editing
    Kamontorn Eakwattanakij
    Music
    Kuboon Kunsooksan

    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.

    Sales
    M-APPEAL
    Production
    ELECTRIC EEL FILMS
    Production
    ADD WORD PRODUCTIONS
    Production
    CHRIS LEE PRODUCTIONS

    Press

    This low-key but deeply felt tale of fraternal bonds splintered by social inequality reps a confident feature-length debut.

    Guy Lodge, Variety

    A winning drama.

    Clarence Tsui, The Hollywood Reporter

    Josh Kim

    Josh Kim

    USA

    Born in Texas, USA, he is a Korean-American filmmaker currently based in Asia. He began as an intern at National Public Radio in Washington, D.C. before moving to CNN in Hong Kong. He was co-producer of the Korean remake of John Woo’s BETTER TOMORROW which premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2010. He then directed videos for Google, UEFA and Elite Models. He recently founded the micro-documentary web-series GOOGLE GLASS DIARIES which has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and Fast Company.