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Year: 2000
USA: Strand Releasing
UK: ICA Projects
Cast: Shiriohana Hongsopon, Jesdaporn Pholdee, Sahaphap Tor, Visuttichai Boonyakarjana, Jira Maligool, Chaicharn Nimpulsawasdi, Ekachai Buranapanit, Giorgio Maiocchi, Kokkorn Benjathikoon
Director: Yongyooth Thongkontoon
Country: Thailand
Language: Thai (English subtitles)
USA & UK: 104 mins
UK Certificate: 15 Contains frequent strong language and sex references
USA Release Date: 7 September 2001 (Limited Release - New York)
UK Release Date: 20 July 2001


THE IRON LADIES is based on a true story about a male volleyball team that won the Thai national championships in 1996 championships with a team consisting mostly of gays, transvestites and transsexuals.

The Lampang Volleyball team is going downhill and the chief cause is due to macho 'star' Muangman, who is incapable of team play. Mon, who becomes the team leader, was a very talented player who constantly failed to be selected for various teams because he was gay. Jung, Mon's best friend, also experienced the same treatment but was always more optimistic about things. Their chance comes when Coach Bee is selected to put together a winning team, and she announces that the team will be open for all to tryout. But when the coach selects both Jung and Mon to be on the team, some of the more macho players resign in protest.

In order to form a team, the coach asks Mon to find a few of his friends to join the team, They select Nong, a gay sergeant in the army; Pia, the transsexual star of a cabaret show; Pia's boyfriend Chat; and Wit, whose parents don't know that their only son is gay. The team reforms and in the end, virtually the entire team is gay with one straight player - the handsome Chai, an unheard of situation in Thailand.

The team slowly comes together and begins to play like champions. The team does well in the play-offs and they start to prepare for the national championships. Facing the taunts of the other players and the tournament officials is hurtful and degrading to the team and the coach. Facing lots of problems and issues, their everyday lives are a challenge, but in the finals they fight back with dignity and honor to emerge as true champions and demonstrate to their opponents and to the nation what true sportsmanship and respect for oneself is all about.

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