Connect with us

Phuket

Mixed emotions over tsunami mini-series

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

Mixed emotions over tsunami mini-series | 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.”

 

Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)13 hours ago

AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines to be donated to Thailand from Japan

Bangkok14 hours ago

Bangkok police warn that protests planned for Thursday break the Emergency Decree

Thailand14 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Hotel occupancy, Phuket beaches hit with tar balls, doctor ‘warning’ | June 21

Phuket Sandbox July 1st

days
hours
minutes
seconds

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Thailand14 hours ago

Pattaya residents complain of sinkholes in road, couple sustains injuries

Insurgency15 hours ago

2 suspected insurgents killed in gunfire exchange with police-military team

Best of15 hours ago

Top 8 Things to do in Hua Hin

Thailand15 hours ago

Army raids a house, arrests 53 as part of alleged gambling operation

Best of15 hours ago

Top 5 Insurance Companies for Expats in Thailand

Thailand15 hours ago

Thailand abstains from vote on UN resolution condemning Myanmar violence

Leisure16 hours ago

Top 5 Rooftop Bars in Bangkok

Best of16 hours ago

Top 5 Shabu-Shabu Restaurants in Bangkok

Indonesia16 hours ago

Indonesia approaches 2 million Covid cases

Thailand16 hours ago

Monday Covid Update: 3,175 new cases; infections rise in the Deep South

Pollution16 hours ago

Oil slick and ‘tar balls’ wash up on Phuket’s beaches – what caused it?

Best of16 hours ago

Top 5 Ice Cream Shops in Bangkok

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending