Thursday, September 29, 2022

Thai Cave Rescue

An event that captured international attention.  At first it seemed strange that news coverage was given to a soccer team in Thailand.  We learned that they were trapped in a cave and the prospects didn't look too good.  Outsider experts got involved and eventually they were all rescued with only one helper dying in the effort.

 This is a fictional account fairly faithfully following the events.  

The first view is from a meteorological center in Bangkok.   A newcomer felt there should be a concern about a storm in northern part of the country while equipment was failing.  Her boss is nonchalant, but she presses on and goes north ending up at the cave.

We see members of a soccer team ages 11 to 17 and some of their families.  One player is technically not Thai.

The caves are an unusual natural configuration.  It is easy enough to get into, but when there are heavy rains it is a nightmare to get out.  The team's timing was unfortunate.  They were missed soon enough, but communication was non existent.  Before too long it was speculated by some that they might already be dead.  Eventually skilled divers are able to establish contact, but realize it would be far too dangerous to take them out with their present resources. 

The assistant coach, age 25 had been in a monastery and to calm the boys he taught them meditation.  This was critical as they ended up spending 17 days trapped.

The Governor, not religious, but decides to humor parent who is very distressed.  Most of the families feel helpless and rely on praying.  The Governor's supervisor seems to be pressuring him to accept another position.  Later on the supervisor tried to pressure  him to keep out foreigners as he thought it would make Thailand look bad.  There were many difficult decisions to make and always a risk assessment, but the Governor kept his cool..

The value of the movie is the tension and the character development.  10,000 people were involved in the rescue attempt, one of them dying in the effort.  

The series like the actual rescue attempt is an international effort.  Below are just a few who contributed.

Baz Poonpiriya was a director, writer and executive producer.  Among his film credits was "Bad Genius" (2017).  Check:

Jon M Chu served a director and producer.  Was discovered by Steven Spielberg

Michael Russell Gunn was one of the writers and a producer.  A previous film credit was as producer/writer with "Designated Survivor" (2016-17)

Dana Ledoux Miller was another writer.  She also had been producer for "Designated Survivor" (2016-17).  She had also been involved with  "The Pirates of the Caribbean" (2011) and "The Descendants"  " (2011).

Two cinematographers were used.  Adam Suschitzky whose film credits include "Designated Survivor" (2016) and Glen MacPherson, Canadian born whose credits include "Walking Tall" (2004).-There is some beautiful scenery in the jungles of Thailand, but the real challenge is in the caves, including underwater. in tight quarters.  You will likely get a feeling of claustophobia.

Thaneth Warakulnukroh played the Governor who was the main decision maker in the rescue.  Some of his film credits include "Bad Genius" (2017) and "In Family We Trust" (2018).  Check:

 Sanyee Yuan played a hydrologist trying to give her expertise for the rescue attempt.  Surprised to learn her film credits include American films and also two Korean series:  "The King's Affection" (2021) and "Juvenile Justice" (2022).  Check: and

Rodger Corser played a doctor.  He is well known in Australian television including a favorite series, "Doctor Doctor" (2016-2021).    Check:

The rescue was quite a challenge.  It took an international effort to meet that.  If you remember the drama through news coverage this will give some background.  If you were not familiar with the story as it happened this will be a tense, but enjoyable adventure.  Available on Netflix.

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