Chakra is a 14 year old Cambodian boy. When a friend tells him about the possibility of earning money in a factory, he decides to set off on his own. But very soon Chakra is tricked, sold and forced to work on a Thai fishing boat where the captain’s regime is cruel.

Although this is the beginning of a movie, Buoyancy, directed by Rodd Rathjen, Chakra’s story does not differ much from the many dramatic experiences of those still trafficked in the Southeast Asia’s fishing industry. Inspired by the real-life of many migrant labour workers, Buoyancy is a thriller capable of describing the situation of modern slavery some are still faced with.

Shot in Cambodia in the Khmer and Thai languages, the film was produced by the Australian Causeway Films in association with Cambodia’s Anupheap Productions and Melbourne-based Definition Films.

Despite the film has been recently released, it’s already enjoying some success. Buoyancy has been awarded the Ecumenical Prize and the 3rd place Audience Award in the Panorama Fiction Film category at 2019 Berlinale Panorama and. The world premiere screening has been held in the framework of the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) last August, 9th.

In Cambodia the film is to be presented starting from next October.

Read more about the situation of Cambodian fishermen in Thailand:


Photography copyright © Rafael Winer