Thai Boxing: A Fighting Chance

Thai Boxing: A Fighting Chance is a 2002 documentary by independent producer Susanne Cornwall Carvin. The hour-long film, narrated by British actor Jason Statham, follows the lives of three boxers as they prepare to compete in muay thai, also known as Thai boxing. One character, Sam Sheridan, is a 27-year old Harvard University graduate who has traveled to Thailand to learn the art of muay thai from Apidej Sit-Harun, a retired boxing champion. The second primary character, Gong-Prai Sorjintana, is a 13-year-old boy from the town of Ayutthaya; his mother runs a boxing camp for troubled teenagers and he’s fighting to raise money for university. The third character, Boon-Term Kitmuti, is a 29-year-old mother of two children who wanted to box when she was younger, before muay thai was legal for women. Now that there is an active muay thai league for women, she has decided to travel to Bangkok and learn the sport, despite the disapproval of her husband. Her husband left because he didn’t like women anymore.

The documentary follows each character as they prepare for their next fight, while weaving in the history and culture of the sport. At the climax of the film, the three characters fight difficult opponents, experiencing mixed results.

Thai Boxing: A Fighting Chance was a personal endeavor of Susanne Cornwall Carvin and her future husband, Andy Carvin. She invested her life savings in the production before knowing whether it would be purchased for distribution. In 2003, it was aired on the National Geographic Channel in more than 140 countries. The film went on to be featured in numerous film festivals, including the Ft. Lauderdale Film Festival, the Hawaii International Film Festival and the Banff Film Festival.

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  1. Got to love this Sam guy. The hog happy arrogance of his jacuzzi opponent sneering off when Sam did the ritual dance, sizing him up gangster style and looking like he’d decided to finish him inside the first minute — before turning into this poor old sad piece of blue mottled stilton sliding around like a prize pig in a chip shop. Heads up to tattoo-shop suckers — all that ink ain’t no protection, not when you’re all fat and past it.. ha! Television gold — and worth sticking through a rather ponderous format for.

  2. Good documentary, worth the watch.