First Cuts Are the Deepest
In Thailand, where official education still neglects the unique learning development of early childhood, the first step into the compulsory school system can be literally life-changing. First Cuts are the Deepest is an intimate portrait of three first-graders as education affects their growth and shapes their future.
Tee is a repeat first-grader with hyperactivity disorder and learning difficulties. He spends his days at a school in the middle of Bangkok's largest slum area, famous for criminal and drug-driven activities. In a school filled with children habituated to violence, Tee is the target of bullying by his peers.
In a new home surrounded by radically different cultures and religions, Potter struggles with a new life at an unfamiliar Islamic school. He recently moved from Chiangmai, a northern province, to Padang Besar, the southernmost town near the Malaysian border, to live with his mother's new Muslim husband.
Nut and a group of friends enrol at a boarding school away from the city. It is a school with an emphasis on Sai Baba's doctrine, focusing on human compassion and a shared community. The spiritual teachings are integrated into every aspect of the children's daily lives.
From the first day of school to their last, the film follows the lives of the first-graders as twists and turns of the smallest events gradually mold the lives of the children. As the year draws to a close, we feel almost as if we can tell what their future will become.