Behind the Scenes of Lansing Hit Movie


Madeline Gooley, Staff Writer

Thorn in the Center of the Heart, directed by Thang Mung, follows an ex- FBI agent deciding if he should risk it all by going on one last mission to pay off his debts. Packed with action, Mung tells the story of Khan Pi’s last adventure.

The film, mostly shot in Lansing, was the first to play at the Sun Theatre since the beginning of the pandemic. This was director Mung’s debut to the world. 

To make this film, Mung needed a lot of help from his community. Many of the actors were actually volunteers who wanted to take part in the film and some of the filming locations were given to him.

The significance of Lansing comes from Mung himself.

“I’ve lived in Lansing since 2010 when my family moved here from Burma,” Thang said. 

Thang is a Burmese refugee who left Burma to escape religious persecution. He made this movie to honor his brother who passed away while his family was still living in Burma.

This film is the first film to be shown in the US that features Thang’s native language of Zomi.

 “I didn’t make this movie to make history, but it did, and I thank God for that,” Thang stated. 

God is a very large influence and motivation for Thang’s work. He says he thanks God for everything coming together and allowing everyone to help. Even this film has a large Christian influence. 

Mung looks forward to writing more action movies with his wife that are centered around Christian values and has show dates lined up this month throughout the country. While currently working on smaller projects, Mung does what he can to get his name and work out there. 

Locally, the film was reviewed very well.

“Ninety-nine percent of the people who went to see the film… had great things to say,” said Mung, “ The viewers felt they received the message I was trying to put out. I felt very welcomed by the community… I thank God every day for this opportunity and allowing everything to come together”