After Amazon, Netflix takes a look at the spectacular rescue of Thai children trapped in a cave
After a film on Amazon, it’s Netflix’s turn: the streaming platform presents its series on Thursday, September 22 on the perilous rescue of young footballers stuck in a Thai cave in 2018, before a documentary with the children’s unpublished testimony in October.
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|Actress Urassaya Sperbund during an interview with AFP for the release of the Netflix series “The Impossible Rescue” on September 20 in Bangkok, Thailand.|
Rescue from the impossible retraces in six episodes of about an hour the spectacular operation which made it possible to exfiltrate twelve boys and their trainer from a flooded underground in the north of Thailand.
As Thirteen Livesthe feature film released in August on Prime Video, the plot opens with a football match between the teenagers, who extend their time together with a visit to the cave of Tham Luang.
Surprised by the sudden rise in the waters due to the monsoon, they did not come out of this humid hell until 18 days later, at the cost of a spectacular rescue mission that mobilized nearly 10,000 local and foreign volunteers day and night, which held the world in suspense.
“I get chills just thinking about it. When the children came out, everyone was crying. It was a miracle“, recalls to AFP, Urassaya Sperbund, star actress in the kingdom, who plays a Thai-American hydraulic engineer in the series.
Netflix bet on an essentially local distribution, with a Thai management, when its competitor opted for the international, with Colin Farrell and Viggo Mortensen to embody the protagonists and the American director Ron Howard at the wand.
Film, series, documentary…
These are two opposing ways of telling the story that had moved the planet.
Before a third version which should arrive on October 5 on Netflix, in the form of a documentary with the testimonies of the children – who have signed an exclusive contract with Netflix at 100,000 USD per head according to the American press -, entitled The 13 survivors: Our hell in the cave.
|Thai actor Taneth Warakulnukroh, lead role in Netflix’s “Rescue the Impossible” series, during an interview with AFP on September 20 in Bangkok.|
“I think the series covers parts that haven’t been talked about enough, like the story of Saman Kunan (the Thai rescuer who died during the operation, editor’s note). The episode dedicated to him was the most difficult“, assures one of the two directors, Nattawut Poonpiriya.
“It was a challenge to make a series based on real events, because everyone knows the ending. But since the series lasts six hours, it allowed us to discuss details about the characters and situations.“, he continues.
“It’s a story based on family: love, despair, hope, mistakes… There are so many emotions that we haven’t seen before“, adds Urassaya Sperbund.
The filming took place during the wet season, partly in the cave of Tham Luang, in the province of Chiang Rai, bordering Myanmar. “My fingers were wrinkled and it was very cold. It was intense on the spot“, continues the actress.
“We don’t really know how it actually happened. The truth, which the world cannot deny, is that there have been human beings who wanted to help each other across social class, gender, age, religion or language.“, believes Taneth Warakulnukroh, who plays the main role of the series.
The 64-year-old actor plays the governor of Chiang Rai who tries to coordinate the efforts of the Thai and American military with those of British or Australian divers, while keeping the families of stranded children informed.
“They are all committed with a pure heart. No matter how much time passes, I hope this series will remember this fact, because sometimes we tend to forget it“, he continues.
With another lesson to be learned, as Urassaya Sperbund reminds us: “If you want to visit a cave, make sure before it rains too hard“.