BUOYANCY is the story of a Cambodian teenager sold into forced labor on a Thai fishing boat is a passionate testimony against social injustice and a moving coming-of-age tale about a boy whose humanity is put to the test. Spirited 14-year-old Chakra works the rice fields with his family. He yearns for independence and seeks out a local broker who can get him paid work in a Thai factory. Without telling his family, Chakra travels to Bangkok to make his fortune. But when he gets there, he and his new friend Kea realize the broker has lied to them. Along with other Cambodians and Burmese, they are sold to a fishing captain as slaves. Chakra and Kea are trapped at sea, trawling fish 22 hours a day, surviving on just a handful of cold rice a day. The captain quickly weeds out those weakened by the conditions or trying to escape, and throws them overboard. The trawler sells its catch and restocks its supplies without going to land, making escape impossible. Chakra looks to Rom Ran to understand what it will take to be free. With hope and humanity dwindling, Chakra decides to take matters into his own hands. Director Rodd Rathjen joins us to talk about shooting at sea, with a cast composed of mostly non-English speaking actor, making his first feature film.
Australia’s Official Oscar Submission
Ecumenical Jury Prize – Berlinale Panorama
“A terse minimalist thriller… supremely satisfying.” – Paul O’Callaghan, Sight & Sound
“A harrowing edge-of-your-seat adventure tale with social punch.” – Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter
“Taut and urgent.” – Jessica Kiang, Variety
“Powerful. A gripping debut.” – Paul Byrnes, Sydney Morning Herald