7 user 41 critic

Buoyancy (2019)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama | 26 September 2019 (Australia)
1:43 | Trailer
14-year-old Chakra is sold as a slave labourer to the captain of a Thai fishing vessel. The captain's rule on board is cruel and arbitrary.


Rodd Rathjen


Rodd Rathjen
10 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Sarm Heng Sarm Heng ... Chakra
Chan Visal Chan Visal ... Samnang
Chheung Vakhim Chheung Vakhim ... Friend in Waterhole
Terb Sophon Terb Sophon ... Girl From Rich Families
Phouen Nisa Phouen Nisa ... Girl From Rich Families
Sareoun Sopheara Sareoun Sopheara ... Chakra's Father
Nhim Chhun Nhim Chhun ... Kravaan (Eldest Brother)
Kunthea Sngoun Kunthea Sngoun ... Chakra's Mother
Phouern Mey Mey Phouern Mey Mey ... Chakra's Sister
Ros Leang Hong Ros Leang Hong ... Chakra's Sister
Sim Lyma Sim Lyma ... Chakra's Sister
Bou Samnang Bou Samnang ... Chakra's Younger Brother
Samphos Phon Samphos Phon ... Romli
Cheap Sovichea Cheap Sovichea ... Minivan Driver
Mony Ros Mony Ros ... Kea


A 14-year-old Cambodian boy leaves home in search of a better life but is sold to a Thai broker and enslaved on a fishing trawler. As fellow slaves are tortured and murdered around him, he realises his only hope of freedom is to become as violent as his captors.

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Crime | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Official submission of Australia for the 'Best International Feature Film' category of the 92nd Academy Awards in 2020. See more »

User Reviews

More a Treat than a Tract
1 October 2019 | by stephen-624See all my reviews

The cruel business of Asian forced-labour fishing is no joke, but if you want to make a movie of it, it still has to work as a movie.

Rathjen largely succeeds, aided by fine camera work, and cinematic interludes that break up what would otherwise be an unbearably grim tale. The interludes might be a high-altitude shot of the death boat, a thoughtful moment of beauty, or a flashback to the young conscript's home village.

The ending strikes an apt note, neither too sad nor too sentimental. It's hard to imagine this one will do huge box office, so let's hope that Rathjen comes back for another round. Talented Australian directors are rare, and rarer still do they kick on for longer careers.

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Thai | Khmer

Release Date:

26 September 2019 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Buoyancy See more »


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