The Boxing Day Tsunami in 2004 was the most devastating natural disaster in modern times, killing 228,000 people across 13 countries in just a few hours. This catastrophic collision between the natural world and humankind would have far reaching consequences on humanity and science forever.
After the Wave tells the untold story of the epic forensic operation in Thailand to identify and return home the bodies of over 5,000 victims of the tsunami; both locals and holidaymakers from around the world in Thailand for the Christmas break. The best international forensic specialists were in a race against time to give back every victim their identity, with one mantra to guide them: ‘we will take them home’.
This unprecedented global effort with over 30 international teams attempting to work together in chaotic circumstances was charged with complicated international politics and explosive diplomatic tensions; between Thai, Australian, New Zealand, British, Scandinavian and German teams. After the Wave will also follow victims and survivors’ stories and the extraordinary task that is still ongoing today – to finally identify the 388 remaining bodies and return them to their long-suffering families.
This is a film not only about what happened in Thailand on that day and in the weeks and years after, but also an examination of how the world responds to extreme catastrophe on a vast scale, and whether we can cooperate across borders when it’s critical we do so.