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Ameen: A Muslim Thai action film on fighting human trafficking

Ameen is a hard-hitting Thai action-thriller full of high stakes and suspense, as an Imam, a blind boy and a hitman battle against human trafficking of stateless Rohingya on the Thai-Myanmar border.

Right from the chanting and dedication at the beginning of the film: “This film was created in gratitude to God and in appreciation of His final Prophet, Muhammad (PBUH)” you know this film is going to be genre-defying and different to any film you’ve seen before. The chanting moves to opening sequences of a classic car in the forest, and a man stealthily manoeuvring in a mysterious interior and finding something in a safe, as he meditates “our humanity, yours and mine, is being stolen slowly. It is being replaced with the minds of wild starving animals.” This  enigmatic beginning pans out to wider vistas of a boat on a misty body of water surrounded by tropical vegetation, where an elephant wades peacefully, a mosque and the same man on a motorcycle speeding through beautiful countryside as an exquisite adhan sounds.

Elephants wading in the water in Thai action film Ameen

Suffering from memory loss after an accident the main protagonist, played admirably by award-winning actor Ray Macdonald, is taken in and cared for by an Imam and his blind son Imran. They name him Ameen since he can’t remember his own name. Although he can’t remember much, he discovers he is an excellent fighter when he confronts some thugs who are ganging up on a villager. In flashbacks we learn about his shady past as he learns about Islam from the Imam and his son and gets to know the Muslim community.

The Imam in Ameen a Thai Muslim action film

The Imam tells him that it is not only him who has lost his memory, and says that all humans lost their memory the day they were born and can’t remember what they promised the Creator. The Imam and his son Imran are from Bangkok and moved to begin new lives after a terrible tragedy struck. The film touches on themes of starting anew with a clean slate, sin, guilt and finding redemption.

Ameen in the woods in Thai Muslim action film about human trafficking

The story focuses around fighting human trafficking for organ harvesting from stateless Rohingya on the Thai-Myanmar border. Imran tells Ameen that the Rohingya have lived in Arakan State in Myanmar for more than 1200 years, but have been brutally slaughtered by the Myanmar government, and refused their own Burmese citizenship, with their homes burned down. Imran’s father has been helping them and giving them places of refuge, but a large number of them are still trafficked. The previous Imam, who had attempted to find evidence to bring the criminal ringleaders behind the trafficking down, has disappeared.

Human trafficking of Rohingya in Ameen, a Thai Muslim film

When Ameen remembers his identity as a hitman and is threatened with death if he doesn’t kill his intended target in the very community that has been caring for him, he is conflicted about what to do. The Imam believes in his ability to find redemption even if he doesn’t himself. However, things are not as simple as they seem, and it transpires that Ameen’s true identity is more complicated than we’ve been led to believe.

Ray Macdonald in Ameen

This film is rated 15 and is not appropriate for younger viewers due to violence and gore.

You may also enjoy Adam, another Thai action film with an Islamic moral compass by director Hamezi Akeyrat. Adam is a fast-paced action thriller focused on a father trying to get home to his sick daughter.

'Ameen' is a hard-hitting Thai action-thriller full of high stakes and suspense, as an Imam, a blind boy and a hitman battle against human trafficking of stateless Rohingya on the Thai-Myanmar border.

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