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    Sociology and Thai Culture Movie Review: Ong Bak, Muay Thai Warrior

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    Select a movie or TV show that effectively communicates the cultural, values and norms of a society that is different from your own culture. Ideally, this movie or TV show would be a foreign film with subtitles. The movie or TV show you select should provide you with a glimpse of what life is like in another culture. The process of watching this movie or TV show should provide you with a unique, cultural experience.

    Watch the movie/TV show that you selected, and use your reactions as part of your response to the following topic.
    Define ethnocentrism and how it affects individuals, societies, and multinational corporations. Your paper should provide a comprehensive overview of the concept of ethnocentrism. You should use your cultural experience of watching the selected movie or TV show to discuss the effect of ethnocentrism on individuals, societies, and multinational corporations. Please feel free to use any personal experiences you may have had visiting different countries around the world as part of this paper; however, do not let your personal experiences with other cultures be the focal point of this paper. The focal point of the paper is your cultural experience watching the selected movie or TV show and your comprehensive overview of the concept of ethnocentrism. Please note that this paper is not intended to be a summary of the movie or TV show. Your paper should focus on the cultural observations that you are able to make based on this experience.

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    Dear Student,
    Hello and thank you for using Brainmass. I am not quite sure if you are familiar with the Thai Culture however it is a culture that is quite removed from mainstream America and is still considered 'exotic' and mysterious. I am sure however that you will easily connect to the idea of martial arts and the perpetual battle between good and evil. Hence, I have chosen a rather popular Thai movie called Ong Bak: Muay Thai Warrior. It is easy enough to find the movie online and being a cult classic for fans of Muay Thai (its lead actor Tony Jaa a Muay Thai Champion) you can also easily find it in your local video store. Before jumping towards the review, if you are unfamiliar with this movie, you can find introductory information on it below:

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0368909/ - trailer
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ong-Bak:_Muay_Thai_Warrior - I know it's Wiki, but it does provide a comprehensive explanation of the movie's plot and varied elements in this case.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p310Y0tctr8 - a chase scene, in Thai but quite entertaining and interesting enough you won't need translations.

    I hope this solution helps.

    OTA 105878/Xenia Jones

    Movie Review: A look into Thai Culture

    Movie Title: "Ong Bak, Muay Thai Warrior"
    Release: January 2003
    Company: Sahamongkol Films International
    Country: Thailand
    Language: Thai
    Director: Prachya Pinkaew
    Producers: Somsak Techaratanaprasert,Prachya Pinkaew
    Writers: Prachya Pinkaew, Panna Rittikrai,Suphachai Sittiaumponpan
    Starring: Tony Jaa as Ting, Petchtai Wongkamlao as George &
    Pumwaree Yodkamol as Lek
    Cinematography: Nattawut Kittikhun
    Editors: Thanat Sunsin & Thanapat Taweesuk

    The Story:

    The Plot of the movie is universal and simple enough but one rooted in Thai culture. Thais are devout Theravada Buddhists who shy away from a path of destruction and evil. In a small North-eastern Thailand village, Ban Nung Pradu (this region is actually the least developed in all of Thailand home to the country's poorest), the head of the Village Temple's Buddha was stolen. Stolen by a gang of criminals and looters who forcibly buy or steal important Buddhist artefacts for profit, it was taken forcibly in the night when the head monk refused to seal it. Ting, a devout young man skilled in Muay Thai (with the art being part of the religious aspect of Thai Theravada Buddhism) takes on the quest to recover it. The village has nothing - only the centuries-old Buddha image that villagers hold as dear and miraculous. Promptly, drought happens all over the village as farms and plots dry out in the searing heat of the tropical Sun. Balance must be restored and all the villagers, poor as they are contribute to pay for Ting's way to Bangkok. In Bangkok Ting seeks George, a Nong Pradu native who has found a niche as a con artist in the mean streets of the city. Self-interested, cunning and irresponsible, George does not want anything to do with Ting's quest believing old traditions to be passé and Ting and the villagers too 'uncool', a people stuck in the 'dark ages' without a touch of 'Modern'. George makes a living playing cons and tricks on people, arranging fixed motorcycle races, cheating on card games and betting on whatever contests he could include underground fight clubs. He works with Lek, a cunning yet caring teen girl whose goal is to save enough money to help her own sister get out of her drug addiction.

    George cons Ting to trust him and subsequently uses Ting's little money to bet in an underground fight. Ting follows him to get it back and somehow finds his way into the center of a fight where he had no choice but to fight back a number of martial artists, Thai and foreign. The crowd - a cacophony of Western Tourists, Thai criminals and drug lords looking to score or to be entertained in the bloodlust caring less about the morality of putting Ting in the spot to save his life. To their surprise he easily beats them all to get to his little purse. George and everybody else are dumbstruck. The head of the syndicate with interest in relics and illegal drugs somehow happens to be among those running the underground fight and manipulates the situation so as to bet on fights with the unidentified fighter (Ting).Meanwhile George & Lek's own actions go against them - they become targets for gangs they have conned in fixed racing, fake illegal drugs and fixed card games. Being that Ting was staying with them, the latter is unwittingly pulled into their own troubles and saves them both on a number of occasions. Soon they cross path with the man identified as the one who stole the Buddha's head. This man also ...

    Solution Summary

    Muay Thai is examined.