THE ROAD TO MANDALAY

By Midi Z

FLASH FORWARD ENTERTAINMENT - as PROD

True Story - Completed 2016

Two people who have nothing in common apart from a shared identity as illegal immigrants meet in Bangkok. She means the whole world to him, but she desperately tries to climb up the social ladder. Eventually, the fate leads them to the inevitable tragedy.

Festivals
& Awards

Festival International du Film D’Amiens 2014
Grand Prize
The Golden Horse Film Project Promotion 2014
Taipei New Horizon Script Cash Prize,Pixelfly Digital Effects Post-Production Prize
L’Atelier of Cinefondation of Festival de Cannes 2015
ARTE International Prize
CNC Les Rencontres Du Cinéma Taïwanais 2015
Lightbox Prize,Les 3 Continents Prize
Venice International Film Festival 2016
World premiere
Toronto International Film Festiva 2016
North American premiere
Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival 2016
Closing film
    • Year of production
    • 2016
    • Genres
    • True Story, Drama
    • Countries
    • TAIWAN
    • Languages
    • MANDARIN
    • Duration
    • 108 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Midi Z
    • Producer(s)
    • Patrick mao HUANG (Flash Forward Entertainment), Midi Z (Seashore Image Productions)
    • Synopsis
    • Lianqing is quite typical of the many small-town Burmese who have crossed illegally into Thailand in search of better earnings and opportunities. She puts herself in the hands of the people-traffickers one summer night in 2011. They cross the Mekong River, ride a truck along country backroads, pass bribed police checkpoints and finally reach Bangkok. Along the way, a fellow migrant named Guo is kind to her, and their fates will later become entwined.
      Lianqing has prearranged a place to stay with Hua, an old friend from home, but she’s dismayed to find Hua unwelcoming, even hostile. Another flatmate, Maomei, is more helpful: she explains that Lianqing will not be able to get a decent, paying job without identity papers and a work permit. By chance, though, Lianqing finds work as a dishwasher and waitress in a small restaurant whose owner is Burmese-Chinese, like herself. She soon starts saving money and sending some home to her mother. But the jealous Hua throws her out of the shared flat, falsely accusing her of theft, and it’s Guo who comes to her rescue with a temporary bed at his relative’s place. She soon starts sleeping in a shared room above the restaurant.
      Guo suggests that she leaves the restaurant and joins him in a textiles factory in the outer suburbs of the city. Lianqing prefers to stay in central Bangkok, but when the restaurant is unexpectedly raided by the police she has no choice but to take up Guo’s offer. Factory work is exhausting and arduous, and Guo (like most of the other men) takes amphetamines to get himself through the long night shifts. From her workmates, Lianqing learns that she can buy legal identity papers in a mountainous area in northern Thailand. During their days off for the Songkran Festival, she and Guo travel north to buy the papers – only to find the process longer and more complicated than they’ve been led to expect.
      It’s several months later when Lianqing discovers that Guo deliberately failed to pass on a message that her papers are ready; he possessively hopes to return to Burma with her, and so doesn’t want her to settle permanently in Thailand. When she gets the paper – a certificate of local registration – she finds out that it’s not enough to make her a legal resident. But then she gets an unforeseen break: an offer to assume the identity of a girl her own age who has died in the mountain village. She nervously steels herself to face more formalities, including a face-to-face interview with a police chief. It goes well, and she quits the factory job to move back into the city. But Guo, high on amphetamines, is not prepared to lose her.
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