Queer East Opening Night: Beautiful Boxer BBFC Rating: (15)

  • Directed by Ekachai Uekrongtham
  • Starring Asanee Suwan,Sorapong Chatree, Orn-Anong Panyawong, Nukkid Boonthong, Sitiporn Niyom, Somsak Tuangmkuda, Kyoko Inoue, Keagan Kan
  • 2003 | 118mins | Thailand | BBFC Rating: (15)

This biopic of Thailand’s famed transgender kickboxer Parinya Charoenphol, affectionately known as Nong Toom, is a poignant action drama. Believing that she is a girl trapped in a boy’s body, Nong Toom sets out to master the hyper-masculine combat sport Muay Thai, in order to pay for her gender reassignment surgery.


Based on the true story of Thailand’s famed transgender kickboxer Parinya Charoenphol, affectionately known as Nong Toom, Beautiful Boxer is a poignant action drama. Believing since childhood that she is a girl trapped in a boy’s body, Nong Toom sets out to master the hyper-masculine combat sport Muay Thai, to earn a living and to pay for her gender reassignment surgery. Uekrongtham’s touching, funny debut feature retraces the boxer’s steps from childhood days, to teenage life as a travelling monk, to the gruelling days spent in training camps, to widespread fame as a martial arts champion. Through intricately choreographed kickboxing sequences and a breathtaking performance from real-life fighter Asanee Suwan, Beautiful Boxer brilliantly confounds traditional perceptions of masculinity and femininity.


Preceded by short film


It’s All Because of a Katoey


A beautiful woman arrives at a gentlemen’s club, and the men start vying for her attention – but there’s a surprise in store. Made around 1954, this surprisingly progressive silent comedy is the oldest existing Thai film to feature a ‘katoey’, a pre-LGBTQ term referring to a transwoman or an effeminate gay man.


Dir Ledger Group | Thailand | 1954 | 12 min



Part of Queer East 2022, an LGBTQ+ film festival showcasing East and Southeast Asian queer cinema, in London from 18 to 29 May.

Event Key:

  • SO Sold Out
  • PB Parent & Baby
  • SUB Subtitled Screening
  • QA Q+A
  • RS Relaxed Screening
  • In 35mm 35mm screening
  • S4/5 Studio 4/5
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