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Buffalo Girls (2012)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 62 users   Metascore: 61/100
Reviews: 1 user | 12 critic | 7 from Metacritic.com

Two eight year old girls fight in rural Thailand's underground child boxing economy to earn money to support their families.

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Title: Buffalo Girls (2012)

Buffalo Girls (2012) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Cast

Credited cast:
Stam Sor Con Lek ...
Fighter
Pet Chor Chanachai ...
Fighter
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jid ...
Stam's Mother
Lek ...
Pet's Father
Walee Niyom ...
Bookie Professional Gambler
Nong ...
Stam's Father
Torn ...
Pet's Mother
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Storyline

Buffalo Girls tells the story of two 8-year-old-girls, Stam and Pet, both professional Muay Thai prizefighters. Set in small villages throughout rural Thailand, the film chronicles these young girls' emotional and sometimes heartbreaking journey as they fight in small underground arenas to win prize-money to help provide for their families. After many months of rigorous training and a long schedule of fights, Stam and Pet fight each other for the 20 Kilo championship belt of Thailand and a cash prize that will change the winner's life forever. Written by Todd Kellstein

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Genres:

Documentary

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Release Date:

24 August 2013 (Japan)  »

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1.78 : 1
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Soundtracks

Slum Child
Written by Jake Staley
Performed by Jake Staley
Courtesy of Donald Blake Publishing (ASCAP)
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User Reviews

Profiles of 8-yo fighters in Thialand. Girls, at that!
2 August 2013 | by (Houston, Tx, USA, Earth) – See all my reviews

I had my wife watch a bit of this video, which I found on Netflix streaming videos, and her comment was "That's sad."

It certainly is different, for those of us raised in the Western culture. This documentary profiles two 8-yo girls in Thailand who are professional fighters. Yes, "professional" because they get paid, and lots of Baht (their monetary unit) trade hands in bets. I liken it to the illegal rooster fighting here in the US, only these are sweet little girls. And really sweet, very pretty, 8 years old, 22 KG (about 48 pounds) little girls.

The issue boils down to poverty, and I suppose fighting for money is better that prostitution or some of the other occupations young Thai girls might find themselves in. Their parents seem very nice, they seem to say that the girls enjoy it and could quit if they wanted to. But I suspect the girls have been told that their family well-being depends on their training hard and fighting well.

The documentary focuses on two girls, Pham and Pet. Pham is the better fighter and Champion of the 22 KG girls. The fighting is a mix of boxing, with nicely padded gloves, but they are bare footed and they also kick with their feet and their knees. They normally go 4 rounds. In an interview with a veteran referee, he spoke of his duty to protect them, to stop a fight if it seems one is outmatched and might get hurt. He also mentioned some times they break legs or arms, and with bones sticking out through the skin!

Watching the video I was mesmerized, amazed, and at the same time sorry that these little kids had to do what they do for the money, in Pham's case to finish building the family home. But on the other hand it shows that people of different cultures develop their own unique ways of dealing with adversity.

How much money is at stake each match? They never say exactly but it is thousands of Baht, probably 5000 to 10,000. So for a ballpark figure, 5000 Baht is about $160 in USA money. Not exactly a great payday for all the training and dedication required, but I suppose in Thailand that goes a long way.

I found my self wondering most of all, what becomes of these young girls as they grow into adulthood? Do they get and education, do they have a good life?


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