‘The Trapped 13’ lets Wild Boars speak for themselves

We’re probably all too familiar with the uplifting tragedy of the Wild Boars football team. We know almost every detail of their time underground, their escape to the light and subsequent international celebrity. But still, the screen adaptations come, three in the last year alone. This time, it’s Netflix The Trapped 13: How We Survived the Thai Cave.

The Trapped 13 attempts to tell the story from the viewpoint of the trapped boys, and it is a story that needs no retelling here. “They were teasing each other and having fun as they clambered into the cave, little knowing what awaited them…” etc.

'The Trapped 13' lets Wild Boars speak for themselves | News by Thaiger
Ekkaphon Chanthawong, the assistant coach who kept the boys alive.

Decider.com found The Trapped 13 to be held together by the commentary of Ekkaphon Chanthawong (Eak), the assistant coach stranded along with the boys. His narrative glues the docu together, and his personal story is truly moving: from orphan to inspiration. It seems largely down to Eak’s resilience that the boys survived.

The boys’ firsthand stories are utterly invaluable. We sense the despair they felt and the harsher realities of their situation. But more so, we feel their hope as their personalities emerge, as the documentary unfolds. We see goofy young boys just being themselves. At one point, Eak asked, “What if a naked girl suddenly showed up?”

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“I’m tired,” Adul replied. “I’d make her freaking dig.”

At the time of filming, the boys were older. Three years is a long time for a teenager. At the end of the film, they reflect with a little wisdom. They’re inspired to live good lives and be good people, so all the effort of rescuing won’t be in vain.

“I can’t just do what I want anymore. I have to be a good kid now, try to do well in school, and not let other people down, because they rescued us,” said Tita

Between The Trapped 13 and The Rescue, we now have a fairly consistent timeline and collection of perspectives on the saga. We have a definitive dramatisation in the Howard film, which deserves Oscar consideration, and we have had enough iterations and reiterations of this story now.

The Trapped 13 is a rock-solid documentary offering a crucial perspective on an otherwise well-worn story. Don’t miss it.

'The Trapped 13' lets Wild Boars speak for themselves | News by Thaiger
The rescue effort involved more than 10,000 people, including more than 100 divers, scores of rescue workers, representatives from about 100 governmental agencies, 900 police officers, and 2,000 soldiers.

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Jon Whitman

Jon Whitman is a seasoned journalist and author who has been living and working in Asia for more than two decades. Born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, Jon has been at the forefront of some of the most important stories coming out of China in the past decade. After a long and successful career in East sia, Jon is now semi-retired and living in the Outer Hebrides. He continues to write and is an avid traveller and photographer, documenting his experiences across the world.

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