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Iron Ladies, The

Satree Lek

The Lampang volleyball team is going down the tube, largely because its macho ‘star’ Muangman is incapable of team play. When Bee, with three school championships under her lesbian belt, is brought in as the new coach, Muangman leads a mass walk-out. The only players Bee is left with are Mon and Jung, both of whom happen to be drag queens.
Before long, Bee is leading a team of ‘khatuey’ (‘lady-boys)owith one token straight in the person of the dishy Chaioup the volleyball league towards a championship shown with Muangman’s new club.
Believe it or not, this really happened in Thailand in 1996. Director Yongyoot Thangkontoon’s wildly entertaining film (his debut feature) was inspired by catching the real-life Lampang team on a TV talk show. He has used a certain amount of dramatic licence in telling their story, but his swishy, riotously funny film has the approval of its real-life prototypes. A runaway hit in Thailand, it’s an Asian answer to Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.
Thailand, 2000. English subtitles. Colour. Dolby digital stereo. 104 min.

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