Thai London film festival
Thai London film festival
The teacher’s diary
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) is without doubt one of the most iconic venue in London, holding some of the world’s most recognised award ceremonies from the television awards to the Bafta’s itself. This red carpet venue has seen some of the most loved and influential people walk its halls. And being interested in film myself I was truly grateful to be invited the Press Gala to watch Thai film festival award winner; The teacher’s diary.
I arrived promptly at the venue, where my guest and I were greeted with a wine reception and Thai inspired canapés. After a drink or two we were escorted up to the screening room where a momentary introduction was delivered prior to the film.
The teachers diary a romantic comedy which tells the intertwining stories of two lonesome hearts, a young woman and a young man, who are dispatched to teach at the same rural school, a year apart.
The story unravels when Song, a former wrestler switches jobs to teach at a remote floating school encircled by mountains and water, cut off from the modern world. Song assign to teaches four local children seems very unprepared with the isolation of the school and grows extremely lonely, till one day he stumbles upon a diary left behind by a former teacher – Ann. Song reads the thoughts and stories documented in the diary and with every paged he turns Song can’t help but form a bond with a girl he has never met.
One year later, Ann returns to the school and is astonished to find someone else’s handwriting in her journal. Now reading his thoughts and stories she also forms a bond and begins to fall in love with someone she has never met.
The Teacher diary is more than just a feel good starry-eyed comedy, as it touches upon the excluded life and education system in rustic Thailand.
Writer-Director Tharatorn had taken inspiration from two unrelated true stories from close friends, which inspired him to make The Teacher’s Diary. A friend who had fallen in love with someone after reading the memoir she found left behind in an old desk drawer at work and the other of friend who went to teach in a houseboat school in Chiang Mai.
During the Q&A session Tharatorn was asked the question what makes Thai films different and he answered just the language, but I would have to respectfully disagree.
There are so many differences; but the differences that make this film so special are far from the ideology of western film culture. Firstly the film itself was so innocent; there was no unnecessary bad language or nudity. It was made so simplistic, which is something I am not use to seeing in films today. It felt genuine and I whole heartedly believed in the story-line and enjoyed the slightly child-like humour of the characters.
I know it may sound cheesy, but I myself am a hopeless romantic and I was happy to see I was not the only one, but also the entire audience seemed happy to feel included in Song and Ann’s love story.
The lovely concept of if you’re meant to be with someone, fate has a way of bringing you together, even when the odds seem impossible! Truly shone through within the film.
I truly enjoyed being a part of the Thai film festival, and will surely be adding some around the world films to my ever growing collection.
Thank you for the invitation and thank you for welcoming me into your wonderful film culture.