Thai title: ครูบ้านนอก
English title: To Sir, With Love
Director: Surasee Phatham
Main actor: Mum Jokmok,Panna Rittikrai
Surasee Phatham has directed a remake of his own movie in 2009 as he was never happy with the number of details that were edited out. In “Rural Teacher” movie remake, most of the actors speak Isan / Lao language. The story is the same but many details have been changed. For the complete story, please read the above 1978 “Rural teacher” movie review. The village name has changed from Baan Nong Ma Wo (บ้านหนองหมาว้อ) to Baan Nong Hi Yai (บ้านหนองฮีใหญ่). The movie features many Isan country side ceremonies and customs such as lying by a fire after a child birth (to purify of all poisons and influences from ghosts), food (frog, snake, rice alcohol - เหล้าขาว). It reminds a bit of "A Child of the Northeast" ("LUK ISAN" - ลูกอีสาน) movie. Teacher Piya is now called Teacher Pichet. Teacher Pichit is now called Teacher Somchat. The headmaster is more funny and is played by actor Mum Jokmok. Famous action director Panna Rittikrai is also having a role as a strange man living away from the village. The headmaster plays lottery while teaching pupils. The children often miss school as they need to work for their parents or parents have no money to buy school uniforms for them. There are no chairs for children to sit. The headmaster and teacher Somchat need to ride horse to go to city. They need to buy their own teacher clothes. Pichet has pushed for the school modernization. New clothes offered by the local influential man owning the illegal logging concession. The main actor, Pichet Kongkarn, is a singer. He is singing a few songs related to Isan people leaving their village to go to work in cities and leaving behind grandparents to take care of babies, related to forest kindness (บุญคุณของป่า) or related to knowledge (ความรู้) and kindness (ความดี). Ruffians wear mask to frighten the villagers (ผีหลอก) so that they don't mingle inside the forest. Pichet finds poison in the forest. It is used by ruffians for people to get sick. Pichet finds the huge logging concession. The journalist head doesn't dare publishing the news and pictures. Pichet and the headmaster motivate the villagers to fight against the ruffians. A young journalist finally dares editing the news. Villagers fight with ruffians and one villager is shot. Panna Rittikrai can even show his fighting skills. The movie ends tragically for the teacher. The new version was released 2 days before National Teachers Day (วันครู) in 2010. The Culture Ministry, regarded "Kru Baan Nok" as a promotional tool and provided some support. As expected the movie didn’t raise as much interest as 31 years ago as Thai society has evolved. Thai film industry has become more and more centralized with a Bangkok mindset. Politics and social commentary are now divorced from pure entertainment movies. Students and young people are not concerned about politics as they used to be. The movie might have been more successful if the remake was taking place in 2010 and talked about modern issues as corruption and hitmen are still present nowadays. In 1978, teacher Thim Bun-ing was shot after denouncing a bribery at the school construction of his village in Satuek District (Buriram). A teacher and activist, Khru Thim fought hard to see that Isan children had more educational opportunities and more efficient educational programmes. A group of teachers in Isan, wanting to keep his ideology alive, established the Foundation in his memory in 1983. Maybe "The Rural Teacher" movie was based on this real story.
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