In August 2013 a group of 7 climbers, 5 Americans and 2 Burmese climbers, traveled to northern Myanmar to make a first ascent of Southeast Asia's disputed highest peak. All told, the ... See full summary »
Madame Tang colludes and mediates between the government and the private businesses for the benefits of her all-female family. One case does not go according to plan, and an entire family ... See full summary »
Ten letters are sent from a man in Myanmar to a women in Thailand who loves and misses so much. But the letters are left unopened for 50 years. Until one day, the women's granddaughter is ... See full summary »
Sai Sai Kham Leng,
Naam Whan Pailporn,
Wutt Hmone Shwe Yi
In the war-torn Kachin State in Myanmar, waves of poor workers flock to dig for jade, dreaming of getting rich overnight. The director, Midi Z, is the protagonist's youngest brother. Midi ... See full summary »
In Inner Mongolia in the early 1990s, 12-year-old Xiaolei enjoys summer with his father, who works at a film studio, and his education-minded mother. But life is rapidly changing, as stable... See full summary »
Min Htet possesses a perfect life which will be envied by a lot. He is rich; owns a gallery and in addition to all that, has a beautiful wife called Zin Mar. He is the epitome of happiness ... See full summary »
Lianqing and Guo meet when they smuggle themselves into Thailand. Lianqing finds a job as a dishwasher in a restaurant while Guo works in a textile factory in the suburb. Guo really likes Lianqing, but Lianqing just focuses on getting the Thai ID card. They are two people with contradictory personalities, however they seem to be bound by fate. When Lianqing gets hold of the ID card, their love is doomed.
Thailand is where the hopes and dreams of millions of illegal immigrants from Myanmar are realized, or – more often - crushed. The Road to Mandalay focuses on two such determined immigrants, Lianqing and Guo, who are each in search of a better life. They meet by chance, after just crossing the border, in a pick-up truck traveling deeper into Thailand. Guo kindly offers Lianqing his more comfortable and expensive spot in the truck. However, Guo's kindness does not end here. He keeps offering Lianqing contacts, jobs, food, places to stay and more. She won't be bought though, not by him or anyone else, despite the intense pressure to sell her body. Yet the alternative is dangerous, degrading and monotonous work, 14 hour workdays, documents and permits perpetually out of reach, a crowded cement floor for a bed, running from the police, dirty air and everywhere there are tolls and bribes to pay, among other obstacles. Drugs dull the pain for Guo, yet selfless and hard-working Lianqing soberly continues to try to follow the rules. One of the two will give in to the relentless pressure.
The Road to Mandalay is invigorated with unforgettable and resplendent scenes, alternately tragic and uplifting. Among these scenes; Lianqing emerges from a factory after a long shift and is splashed with water by dancing, joyful co-workers, Lianqing clings to Guo on a moped in the rain and cries after a deep disappointment, and Guo tenderly places a necklace on Lianqing's neck. This enlightening, timely and poignant film aids in the understanding of the plight and vulnerability of illegal immigrants. The actors, despite their young ages and lack of experience – or perhaps because of such things, are capable and compelling. The camera-work is wonderful, often focusing on the eyes of the characters for dramatic effect. As always, it is fascinating to begin to understand a different culture and people. Thai, Burmese, English and Chinese are some of the languages used in the film. Seen at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival.
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