The idea of this film came about because of Pepijn Veling and his MA research on this subject. He shot these images on a little handycam. Brechtje Boeke made this teaser and will be directing the final film. This teaser is just the first step towards the film we want to realise. For more info contact

"The Wonderous Workshop" (working title) is a touching and heart warming documentary about a small workplace in Thailand where happiness prevails, despite the tragic reason why all these different people come together. The films shows in a surprising way that poverty can result into great innovation and how those associated with this workshop seize the opportunity to mobilize themselves and maximize their life.

"The Wonderous Workshop" is documentary about the daily practice of a group of Thai men who have one thing in common; they all go through life on one leg. What brings them together is their workshop. A total of 70 men and women work here. On this spot, in Chiang Mai, they make artificial limbs for people who like them, just want to go ‘normal’ through life. The warm atmosphere in this environment makes you almost forget that everyone is here because of a trauma. The work gives the men immense satisfaction and pleasure. The story shows that if you have very little, it can lead to great innovations that put hundreds of people directly back to work and 25.000 back on their feet, and thus indirectly to work.

In "The Wondrous Workshop" three employees are followed. We get insight into the inexhaustible strength and struggle of the men themselves, to stay on both feet, literally, in their daily life. They use their own experience to help others and are an inspiration to their visitors. The men love their work. Life is for them not only something to live, but also to contribute to their community, where they do best. All legs are custom made. The work gives men immense satisfaction and pleasure. Workers and patients also have a lot of fun together. Something that is increasingly overlooked in contemporary society.

There are approximately 70.000 people in Thailand with a leg amputation as a result of traffic accidents, leftover land mines, diabetes and snake bites. The majority of patients don’t have the resources to get a suitable replacement. This is where the workshop, as part of the Prostheses Foundation, now brings change. The special feature of the workshop, besides that experts work there, the artificial legs are of an incredible quality. They are innovative, sustainable and well produced as cheaply as possible. Once they used old Coca Cola cans and Yakult bottles in their production process. For people who do not have the possibility to travel to the workshop, a mobile unit is set up that goes six times per year to the rural areas to provide free artificial legs.
The initiator of the Prostheses Foundation, the 70-year-old Dr. Therdchai Jivacate, is the last 25 years trying to achieve sustainable, affordable and accessible way to develop prostheses for people in his country. He has been training the employees themselves. The workshop is nowadays expanding. Thailand spreads her knowledge to various countries in Africa. A team of 7 people from Burundi was trained for four months to become artificial leg technicians. They are now active in the Prostheses Foundation established workshop in their own country. There are also a couple of Senegalese soldiers recently trained, of which most of them have an artificial leg too caused by landmine accidents.

© Brechtje Boeke Film Productions

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