"Quietly, a great film was made"Lee Grant - Oscar Winning Actress and Director
"Hugely empowering and uplifting"Greg Lowe - CNNgo
"Should be mandatory viewing"Jim Pollard - The Nation
Living With The Tiger is an intimate and moving story about a group of HIV infected orphans in Thailand that have been abandoned by society. The story focuses on two of the children over a period of 3 years, and highlights the problems they encounter as they try to re-integrate back into their communities. Despite their traumatic experiences, they embark on the most unlikely of ventures for a group of teenagers from the countryside; a performance in an opera....
A few weeks ago, one of our friends at the Thailand Business Coalition on AIDS told me about an incident that happened at a restaurant the previous day. She was talking with a few colleagues about HIV-related matters when they noticed a group that had been sitting next to them got up and re-located to another table outside. A little while later, the restaurant manager told her that they had overheard the discussion and decided to move because they thought she and her colleagues might be infected.
It’s disappointing to hear these kinds of stories and it makes you realize how much ignorance and fear still exists, and how difficult it will be for the Baan Gerda kids in the future. Fortunately, the students who have been watching the film recently are far more open minded and accepting, none more so than at Phranakon Rajabhat University where we had 3 screenings.
There was one special moment that happened after a Q & A session that most of us will remember; Thai culture frowns upon any show of affection in public, so when one of the students gave Bla a hug it made a very strong statement, all the more so that she did it in front of 150 of her peers. Watch the video above to see the embarrassed reaction from Bla.
The screenings were only made possible because of the enthusiasm and understanding of Ajarn Dave and Dr Sirinan. They knew that it was something that the students could learn from and they worked hard to arrange the events and ensure the students attended. As Dave mentioned, the only minor disappointment was the reaction of some teachers who didn’t get it - “why are we showing it and what subject does it relate to?” This seems to be a commonly held view with schools in Thailand who generally avoid anything taboo or related to sex education.
The reaction from the students was incredibly supportive, especially from the young lady in the video who stood up and so eloquently addressed Bla “We know that you want us to understand you and your point of view, and now you've done it. Everyone in this room has changed their point of view of HIV infected people.”
It’s a sharp contrast to the ignorant and bigoted attitudes of the adults in the restaurant who had obviously decided that it wasn’t safe to sit next to people who were talking about HIV.
- Phuket Gazette
- The Nation
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