Queer East Festival 2024
17 — 28 April
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Beautiful Boxer
Thailand, 2003

Feature, Focus Thailand,
Directed by
Ekachai Uekrongtham
Running time
118 min mins
Based on the true story of Thailand’s famed transgender kickboxer Parinya Charoenphol, affectionately known as Nong Toom, Beautiful Boxer is a poignant action drama. Believing since childhood that she is a girl trapped in a boy’s body, Nong Toom sets out to master the hyper-masculine combat sport Muay Thai, to earn a living and to pay for her gender reassignment surgery. Uekrongtham’s touching, funny debut feature retraces the boxer’s steps from childhood days, to teenage life as a travelling monk, to the gruelling days spent in training camps, to widespread fame as a martial arts champion. Through intricately choreographed kickboxing sequences and a breathtaking performance from real-life fighter Asanee Suwan, Beautiful Boxer brilliantly confounds traditional perceptions of masculinity and femininity.

Director Bio

Ekachai Uekrongtham is a director and writer, known for Beautiful Boxer (2003), Pleasure Factory (2007) and Skin Trade (2014). He has worked in both theatre and film, and was one of the founding members of the Singapore ACTION Theatre. He often works in the biopic and docudrama genres, and was included in the official selection for the 2007 Cannes Film Festival.

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