Nonzee Nimibutr – OK baytong AKA Baytong (2003)


On hearing the news of the death of his sister, a Buddhist monk leaves the temple where he has lived for childhood and struggles to adjust to life on the outside as an uncle to a young niece and as a businessman running a hair slaon in a small Thai town in a southern province. He even must learn to ride a bicycle and zip up his trousers without injuring himself. He is confronted by a flood of feelings – sexual, for a woman and family friend across the street; as well as fear and hatred for the Muslims, who he believes is repsonsible for his sisters death and other sorrows in his life.

In turning to contemporary times, Nonzee gives his most thought-provoking film yet in the story about a monk who leaves the temple where he has lived since he was a child and moves to Muslim-dominated South Thailand to care for the daughter of his sister, who was killed in a terrorist attack on a train.

Despite the heavy handed subject about the growing spectre of Muslim extremism (one of his nightmare visions is of a trainload of bearded Kalishnikov-toting terrorists), the film is pretty light-hearted. He must first adjust to wearing something other than monk’s robes and must take extra care with that zipper. He takes over his dead sister’s business – a hair salon catering to a bevy of beautiful women who work in a karaoke parlor. He experiences his first hard-on while riding on the back of a motor scooter driving by his attractive new neighbor Lynn. He must learn to ride a bike and deal with his feelings – or are they really his feelings?–_Nonzee_Nimibutr.avi–

Language(s):Thai, Malay
Subtitles:English (srt)

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