When the Boat Comes In
MYANMAR, GERMANY / 2014 / Burmese / Color / Blu-ray / 30 min
Director, Photography: Khin Maung Kyaw
Editing: Hnin Ei Hlaing
Sound: Sai Nyi Nyi
Producer: Lindsey Merrison
Source: Yangon Film School yangonfilmschool.org
By the beach in a fishing village near Thanbyuzayat in southern Myanmar, fishermen launch their wooden boats and head out to sea. Women sort and process the fish and shrimp they bring back on the spot. The villagers play, work, and gather on the shore: their entire livelihood is an extension of the sea. But even working from dawn until dusk they must go into debt or they can’t cover their fishing expenses, let alone make a profit from what they catch. One day, their precarious livelihood is assailed even further when the government announces a one-month ban on fishing.
[Director’s Statement] I’ve known this coastline ever since I was a little boy. In my imagination, it has always been a place of beauty and inspiration. Only once I started making this documentary did I discover how harsh life can be and how hard the fisherfolk must strive to make a living here. This makes me appreciate this memorable place even more than I did before.
Cinematographer and director Khin Maung Kyaw is originally from Thanbyuzayat in Myanmar’s Mon State, but is currently based in Yangon. Joining Yangon Film School in 2011 kick-started his career in documentary. He has since worked on over 15 documentaries as a cinematographer, including Take Me Home (2014) by Shin Daewe, which won Best Documentary Award at Wathann Film Festival #3 (2013) in Yangon. When the Boat Comes In marks his directorial debut.