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Year: 1987

Thai title: ด้วยเกล้า
English title: The Seed

Rating: 5/5
Director: Bandit Ritthakol

Main actor: Santisuk Promsiri,Krailat Kriengkrai
Main actress: Jintara Sookkapat

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After each annual Royal Ploughing Brahminic ceremony, farmers are rushing to get grains of rice paddy (ข้าวนายหลวง) as they believe they are sacred. Saokam, a farmer from Northern Thailand, has been to Bangkok to Sanam Luang (สนามหลวง) and brings back gifts and royal rice seeds for family and relatives. Saokam takes some seeds to grow in his field. He gives some to friends and neighbours including lady Buarian, the local shopkeeper and usurer, who keeps one seed for worship. Saokam has three children including one daughter called Kaew. Saokam's house is destroyed by a storm. Saokam has only one week to pay back debts. One son, Ang, wants to sell the rice fields and go to city. The debt cycle with the usurer has no end. Saokam has to sell his buffalo but it only pays the debt interests. This year following a drought there is no rain and no more water. Only the usurer has a well. There is fight over water with villagers as Buarian refuses to sell water until villagers pay back debts. Ang, fed up by this life, goes out of home and gets refuge in hill tribes (ผู้ดอย). They trade opium between Burma and Thailand. Fortunately, Saokam's second son is working with the King's project to produce artificial rain (ฝนหลวง). Big dark clouds are created and bountiful rain happens. Everybody rejoices except lady Buarian selling water. She has no mercy (เมตตา). Some farmers have to mortgage their own fields to pay debts and Buarian takes advantage of her neighbor's poverty by increasing rate. She fires some farmers from their house as they cannot pay back debts. She doesn't want to give a delay for them to plant rice as water has been plentiful. Their son, Neung, is soldier but his salary is not enough to pay debts. Villagers help each other and Saokam accommodates them in his home. Kaew is the girlfriend of the son of the usurer but he claims he cannot help as it is his mother's decision. Ang is back but his family refuses the money got from opium trade (เงินบาป). He leaves again to see his girlfriend Nacha at the Burmese border. The rice grows well. Neung is now a soldier as Burmese-Thai border. The father has to sell at low cost his rice to pay back the debt and even has to give the small amount they keep for their own consumption. The rice trader has an arrangement with the usurer. Kaew breaks up with the usurer's son. Family members help each other. In addition, Saokam's son also persuades other farmers to join the Royal Agricultural Projects and build a cooperative. The new worry is to grab Ang from the opium traders before a clash happens with army. Neung promises Kaew that he will help. During a clash with army and opium traders, Neung protects Ang but gets hurt and is responsible of one soldier's injuries also. He is fired from Army. Ang apologises for his wrongdoings. The movie ends up on a positive way. Farmers are out of debt cycle by following Royal Agricultural project, rice is abundant, Neung receives Army's appreciation by helping to catch the opium trader ring leader. Usurer gets bankrupted having no more customers and needs to leave. This movie was made to celebrate of His Majesty's 5th Cycle Birthday. "Good" films are sometimes rejected by the audience. An example was this movie, produced to commemorate the Thai King. Although the film received many awards, no distributors would take it. The Culture Ministry registers 25 Thai classic films each year at the National Film Heritage Registry. This movie is part of the 25 films heritage list announced on 04 October 2015, which is Thai Movies Conservation Day.

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