BEAUTIFUL BOXER (Ekachai Uekrongtham, Thailand). 116 minuutes. Subtitled. May 26, 10 pm. Isabel Bader. Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
Ong-Bak meets Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert. Based on the implausible real-life story of a transgendered Thai kickboxing champ, Beautiful Boxer is a maudlin but powerful examination of class and gender in Thailand.
If you can overlook the hokey framing device and clunky dialogue, this story of a poor rural Thai youth whose surprising prowess in the ring becomes a means of gaining access to the sex change she so desperately wants is quite affecting.
The fight sequences are like visual poetry, and lead Asanee Suwan 's (himself a champion boxer) respectful portrayal of a protagonist who embraces her identity with strength and invests the brute violence of kickboxing with feminine grace is remarkable.
Inside out festival reviews The new queer crop INSIDE OUT TORONTO LESBIAN AND GAY FILM AND VIDEO FESTIVAL at various locations from today (Thursday, May 19) to May 29. $7.50-$10.75, galas $21.50-$26.75. 416-967-1528, www.insideout.ca. For complete schedule, see Indie & Rep Film, page 126.