‘The Cave’ Rescue Movie Promises to Wow Audience at the Busan Premiere

Oct 4, 2019 | Korea, News, Pop, Thailand, Trending

AFP Logo

‘The Cave’ director Tom Waller says they had to deal with ‘snakes, huge spiders’ as they recreated the conditions of the dramatic rescue of the ‘Wild Boars’ youth football team

From flooded passages lit by headlamps to urgent voices echoing off cramped walls, the director of “The Cave” — the first big-screen retelling of Thai rescue operation — promises to capture the peril of the mission when it premieres at Busan International Film Festival.

 

“No one is going to say, ‘Oh that looks like a set’,” Thai-Irish filmmaker Tom Waller told AFP ahead of the Saturday debut at Asia’s biggest film festival in South Korea.

“Those who suffer from claustrophobia, there should be a warning… (you) might get a little bit anxious,” he joked.

The 2018 mission to extract 12 young Thai footballers and their coach — known as the “Wild Boars” — from Tham Luang cave in northern Thailand captivated people around the world.

After wandering into the complex during the rainy season, the team were trapped by floodwaters for 18 days before they were sedated, fitted with masks, and dragged to freedom through kilometres (miles) of narrow passageways.

Waller’s challenge: to recreate the conditions of the dank, dark environment that made the rescue of the “Wild Boars” so harrowing and unprecedented.

To do so he filmed in similar caves around Thailand and employed four of the rescue divers to star as themselves.

“We had to deal with snakes, huge spiders,” Waller said.

Plucking Tea at Ceylon | Museum of Photography Unknown

The dramatic rescue of the boys and their coach from the cave was followed around the world. This July 11, 2018 picture shows one of the ‘Wild Boars’ being carried on a stretcher during the rescue © AFP

“No one is going to say, ‘Oh that looks like a set’,” Thai-Irish filmmaker Tom Waller told AFP ahead of the Saturday debut at Asia’s biggest film festival in South Korea.

“Those who suffer from claustrophobia, there should be a warning… (you) might get a little bit anxious,” he joked.

The 2018 mission to extract 12 young Thai footballers and their coach — known as the “Wild Boars” — from Tham Luang cave in northern Thailand captivated people around the world.

After wandering into the complex during the rainy season, the team were trapped by floodwaters for 18 days before they were sedated, fitted with masks, and dragged to freedom through kilometres (miles) of narrow passageways.

Waller’s challenge: to recreate the conditions of the dank, dark environment that made the rescue of the “Wild Boars” so harrowing and unprecedented.

To do so he filmed in similar caves around Thailand and employed four of the rescue divers to star as themselves.

“We had to deal with snakes, huge spiders,” Waller said.

Four divers from Canada, China, Finland, and Belgium are acting in it under their real names, as is an American journalist who covered the saga.

Ireland-based Belgian diver Jim Warny, who helped pull the team’s coach out, said he had a flashback when they recreated the scene.

And he wants the film to inspires others to dream big.

“I was afraid in the cave, I’m always afraid when I go cave diving,” he said.

“I see it as a duty to show people that they can do amazing stuff against the odds.”  

Plucking Tea at Ceylon | Museum of Photography Unknown

Belgian diver Jim Warny, who took part in the Thai cave rescue mission in 2018, plays himself in ‘The Cave’