Connect with us

Phuket

Mixed emotions over tsunami mini-series

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

on

Mixed emotions over tsunami mini-series | The Thaiger

PHUKET CITY: Mixed reactions greeted the filming of scenes for the TV mini-series Aftermath at Bangkok Hospital Phuket this week.

While some people said they saw the movie as potentially good for promoting Phuket, others – particularly victims – felt disturbed.

Kudos, the company making the movie for the BBC and HBO, recently came under fire in the British media for insensitivity, causing the BBC to issue a defensive press release. Another critical story by the Associated Press was published widely in the US and elsewhere. Kudos itself has made no public comments.

Some have also questioned the effect that the mini-series, due to be screened in the autumn, will have on tourism in Phuket and neighboring provinces.

But Panu Maswongsa, Vice-President of Marketing of the Phuket Tourism Association, told the Gazette that he did not believe the drama, which covers the day of the December 26, 2004, tsunami and the following few days, will damage Phuket tourism.

“I am sure that the authorities have been involved and read the script before allowing shooting to start. If they have approved it, there should be no negative effect. We should trust the [judgment of the] government officials.”

He noted that the movie Hurricane was made about a disaster in Hawaii, with no negative effect on tourism there.

“Tourism is sensitive, but everyone knows that the tsunami is history. Also, everyone knows that we have a warning system on the beaches to protect lives,” he added.

The production came under particular scrutiny after the crew recreated scenes of devastation, complete with corpses, alongside the main road into Khao Lak, Phang Nga.

Buaphun Phumsanid, 54, a construction worker who was injured when the tsunami hit Baan Nam Khem and who lost her daughter, son-in-law and unborn child, was in two minds about the production.

She said that she had heard that many of the extras in the movie “were running and smiling at the same time,” because they had had no experience of the real thing. She added that people like her should have been hired as extras. “I want to show them how was it,” she said.

That said, she admitted that she found some TV footage disturbing. “I was on a bus coming to Phang Nga and there was a movie or documentary with scenes showing big waves. It make me feel bad.

“I told the bus driver to turn it off or change the movie because it took my mind right back to that day. I still feel bad. I miss my daughter every day.”

Another tsunami victim in Phuket, who asked not to be named, told the Gazette that she had come across some of the extras, still in bandages and fake blood, and that the sight had immediately taken her mind back to the day of the tsunami.

“It has taken me and my husband more than a year to stop having nightmares. We have been trying to forget it,” she said, adding that they both found even small things such as TV commercials with images of flooding – like a current ad for Ford pick-up trucks – disturbing.

“I still have terrible memories about the horrible waves that took away so many thousands of lives in moments. It was a real nightmare for me and I don’t want to be reminded of it again,” she added.

Piyanooch Ananpakdee, Senior Marketing Communications Manager of Bangkok Hospital Phuket, explained that the hospital felt obliged to cooperate with the makers of the mini-series because of a formal request from the Office of Tourism Development in Bangkok.

“We read the script. The plot is good, and emphasizes the kindness of Thai people after the tsunami. I think it will help to promote the country,” she said.

Asked about the effect on people who come across post-tsunami scenes being re-enacted in the hospital, she said, “I don’t think that the filming will have a psychological effect except in the case of people who experienced the tsunami – they might start thinking about it again.

“But the number of tsunami victims coming into the hospital during the three days of filming is likely to be a very low.

“Yesterday some children came in with their parents and we explained to them that it not real. Even though the actors were covered with blood or something, they were always smiling and did nothing to scare anyone during breaks in shooting.”

She noted that shooting had also taken place in three other hospitals – Thalang Hospital and two hospitals in Phang Nga.

“We have allowed them to shoot scenes here on the strict condition that they do not interfere with patients. They are professionals, and gave us a schedule of when and where they would be shooting. We also have our staff keeping them apart from patients,” she added.

“We have a sign informing people about the production and we have been handing fliers to anyone coming to the hospital, apologizing for any inconvenience.”



Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Phuket. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Phuket

Phuket declares rabies outbreak zone in Chalong

The Thaiger

Published

on

Phuket declares rabies outbreak zone in Chalong | The Thaiger

A district livestock development office in Phuket province has announced a Rabies outbreak zone in the Chalong area yesterday.

Sutat Niyomthai, Chief of livestock development officer of Mueang Phuket District, has announced that the Baan Na Yai, Moo 4 village in Tambon Chalong is a designated outbreak zone after a dog tested positive for Rabies.

A rabies temporary control zone will run from January 17 to February 16 in a radius around the Moo 4 village in Tambon Chalong:

• North to Baan Ketho in Moo 7, Kathu.

• South: to Baan Bang Kontee in Moo 5, Rawai.

• East: To Baan Borea in Moo 6, Wichit.

• West: To Karon Temple in Moo 1, Karon.

Phuket declares rabies outbreak zone in Chalong | News by The ThaigerPhuket declares rabies outbreak zone in Chalong | News by The Thaiger

Continue Reading

Phuket

Chumphon woman, working in Phuket, wins first prize in lottery

The Thaiger

Published

on

Chumphon woman, working in Phuket, wins first prize in lottery | The Thaiger

A woman from Chumphon, who helps out her sister in Phuket, returned to her hometown last week where she bought a lottery ticket.

The ticket won her the first prize in the lottery.

38 year old Thai woman Chonrada Laimer from Chumphon went to Chalong Police Station yesterday with the first prize lottery ticket number 197079. The weekly lottery numbers were announced yesterday. She claims 6 million baht as the first prize.

Khun Chonrada says, “I am from Chumphon. I help my sister to sell goods in Rawai during high season. I had to visit my home in Chumphon last week and bought the lottery ticket there. It is the number of my car number plate. Then I returned to Phuket.”

“I am very happy. I will use this money to fix my parent’s house. I will still help my sister to sell goods.”

Continue Reading

Phuket

Australian woman deported for overstaying visa by over 100 days

The Thaiger

Published

on

Australian woman deported for overstaying visa by over 100 days | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Facebook/Claire Johnson

An Australian woman, who was caught overstaying her visa by 111 days, will be released from detention and deported by Thai authorities tonight.

She came to the media’s attention on Monday after sending urgent messages to a friend saying that she was being taken to a detention centre and that “they are taking my phone”.

46 year old Claire Amelia Johnson is an Australian Gold Coast resident. She will depart Bangkok on a QANTAS flight scheduled to arrive in Sydney tomorrow (Friday) morning.

She was due to return to Australia more than a week ago but on Monday evening sent messages to her friend Juliet Potter and told her that she was in an immigration detention centre in Bangkok and begged her to please “help me”.

Read The Thaiger story about her desperate pleas HERE.

Ms Johnson had been running a medical tourism business called Cosmetic Holidays International that offered cosmetic packages in Phuket”.

The business was voluntarily deregistered with the Australian Securities Commission in May 2017, after five years of operation, but her social media accounts continued to promote her cosmetic-surgery tourism business.

Thailand’s immigration chief, Surachate Hakparn, told Australia’s Fairfax media that Ms Johnson had been arrested, as well as fined, and would be deported after overstaying her tourist visa by more than 100 days.

“My Immigration Department will send her to Australia. She leaves tonight.”

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade would say only that it was “providing consular assistance to an Australian woman detained in Thailand”, without naming Claire.

Australian woman deported for overstaying visa by over 100 days | News by The Thaiger

Continue Reading

The Thaiger Newsletter

Keep up with all the day’s news. Subscribe here.

The latest news and information from Thailand.

* indicates required



Trending