A new documentary about life after the tsunami has recently been made to coincide with the 10th anniversary this Boxing Day. Silent Waters focuses on a remote island called Koh Phra Thong, just north of Khao Lak.
The small fishing communities, although largely overlooked by the mainstream media, suffered devastation when the waves ripped through the main village. It was subsequently abandoned and survivors re-housed elsewhere.
The film explores the lives of those that remain on the island and how they have coped with the changes forced upon them. Many lost their homes, livelihood and loved ones. They also talk about the aid organisations and the mistakes that were made, including the building of a new village that is now almost deserted.
The island offers a unique insight into a side of Thailand that most people never get to see. Without electricity the island hasn’t see the development of nearby tourist resorts. The 15km stretch of beach remains almost deserted and is a favourite place for nesting turtles.
The locals have an impressive range of conservation programmes they have implemented to protect the environment; one of the few places in Thailand that has a savannah landscape. A wide range of wildlife can be found, including several species that are unique to the area.
The film is directed by English expat Mike Thomas whose previous documentary, Living with the Tiger, dealt with the stigma attached to a group of HIV-infected orphans in Lopburi province.