New US Trailer for Child Slave Thriller 'Buoyancy' from Rodd Rathjen
"When will our debt be paid?" Kino Lorber has released an official US trailer for an acclaimed indie thriller titled Buoyancy, marking the feature directorial debut of Australian filmmaker Rodd Rathjen. This was Australia's submission to the Academy Awards for 2019, after premiering at the Berlin Film Festival earlier in the year. Buoyancy tells the story of 14-year-old Cambodian boy named Chakra who is sold as a slave laborer to the captain of a Thai fishing vessel. The captain's rule is cruel and arbitrary, and eventually he realizes the only way to truly survive is to fight back. "This 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." The film stars Sarm Heng as Chakra, with Thanawut Ketsaro, Mony Ros, Saichia Wongwirot, Yothin Udomsanti, and Chan Visal. This looks brutal and depressing, but also an invigorating story about dignity and resistance. I'm adding this one to my watch list.
Here's the official US trailer (+ poster) for Rodd Rathjen's Buoyancy, from Kino Lorber's YouTube:
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 realise 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. As fellow slaves are tortured and murdered around them, Kea begins to lose his mind. When his only ally is killed, Chakra looks to Rom Ran to understand what it will take to be free. With hope and humanity dwindling, Chakra decides to take control of the trawler. Buoyancy is both written and directed by Australian filmmaker Rodd Rathjen, making his feature directorial debut after a number of shorts and other production work previously. This first premiered at the Berlin Film Festival last year. Kino Lorber will debut Rathjen's Buoyancy in "virtual cinemas" starting September 11th. For more info, visit their website.