The Iron Ladies - สตรีเหล็ก - Satree Lek

"Remember, girls, as soon as there's a break, bring me my foundation!"
Remember this quote from the famous katoey movie Satree Lek or The Iron Ladies?
I still love watching it from time to time, though it is had been rated not to good by critics. But a hit in Thailand as well as the international film festival circuit, the film has been nominated 12 times and won 10 awards, including the Thailand National Film Association Awards, Toronto International Film Festival and the reader award of german LGBT magazine Siegessäule at the Berlin International Film Festival. It also played at the Pusan International Film Festival, the San Francisco Asian American Film Festival, the Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, the Seattle International Film Festival and the San Francisco International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. (Wikipedia)


The film is set in 1996, when the real team competed and won the national championships in Thailand. The two main characters, Mon and Jung, play two katoey, who had been constantly overlooked by volleyball coaches because of their appearance. However, when a local team changes coaches, the new coach holds tryouts for a new team. When Mon and Jung are selected, most of the old players resign, leaving the new coach, Coach Bee, in a sticky predicament.
Mon and Jung are then forced to enlist the help of other gay and transsexual friends who they used to play volleyball with in university. These new players include Wit, who hasn't told his fiance he is gay, Pia, a ladyboy dancer and Nong, a gay army officer. When the competition begins, all but one player in the team are gay or katoey.
Because of their appearance on court, many of the match officials intend to ban the team, soon dubbed "The Iron Ladies", from the tournament. However, seeing how much the team is liked by the crowd soon changes many of their opinions.
At the end credits of the film, the real "Iron Ladies" are shown as they were at the time of making the film.

In 2003, the combined sequel and prequel called Satree lek 2 was released. The film is based upon how the characters of The Iron Ladies met, and how they would later reunite for another vollyball tournament.

Although the story is very popular and well known in Thailand, there are almost no resources about that on the Internet - even in Thai. I wonder why that is.

Do know about that movie? It is still available in Thailand. What do you think about it? Is it funny and promoting katoey civil rights or is it just another cliche "be yourself" sports movie?

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