Watch | 09. Aug 2022

Thirteen Extraordinary Lives

It is the mentality that touches you the most. The way those Thai people would keep their dignity in their darkest moment.

The skillfull movie "Thirteen Lives" about a football team and its coach trapped in a suddenly flooded cave is astonishingly enthralling even though you know the happy end from the beginning: the movie covers real events eight years ago that the whole world followed for weeks.

Director Ron Howard’s unshowy handling of events demonstrates just how complex an undertaking this is as a piece of storytelling.

The cave divers (Viggo Mortensen, Joel Edgerton and Colin Farrell) are key figures, but the film also follows the contribution of Thai groundwater specialist Thanet Natisri (Nophand Boonyai). It weaves in the Thai navy Seals, the children’s families, and touches on the political backdrop.

The rescue,Thirteen Lives stresses, was a team effort; and likewise is this thrilling piece of film-making. Plaudits are due to cinematographer Sayombhu Mukdeeprom and to the entire sound department for crushing the very air out of the cinema with an unbearably claustrophobic array of sub-aqua sound design.

To double check the truthfulness of the movie I got back to documentaries and news shows from back then - how those boys reacted when after more than a week they were first found by the divers. To watch them again after the rescue still in hospital expressing their gratefulness towards everyone who came to help them is maybe the most extraordinary part of the whole story.

There maybe no better way to face a crisis: Stick together as a society and acknowledge those who contribute substantially. Let us all try to learn something here...