Magical realism and quiet mystery coalesce in this stunning debut feature, which allegorically addresses the plight of Rohingya refugees.
Singapore PremiereTHAILAND, FRANCE, CHINA / 2018 / 105 MIN / Thai / PG
In a coastal village near the Thai-Myanmar border, a lonely fisherman nurses and befriends a wounded, mute Rohingya man, whom he affectionately names Thongchai. When the fisherman disappears at sea, the identities of the two men start to converge in disquieting and delicate ways.
Director Phuttiphong Aroonpheng first conceived of Manta Ray as a participant at Busan International Film Festival’s Asian Film Academy in 2009, and developed it over the course of eight years. The film is a reaction against the media’s negative portrayal of the Rohingya people, and the bigotry directed towards them by the general populace. It screened at the 2018 Venice International Film Festival, where it won the award for Best Film in the Horizons section.
Cast & Credits
Phuttiphong Aroonpheng is a Thai director and cinematographer born in 1976. He has directed six short films since 2006. His most recent short film, Ferris Wheel, received a special mention at the 2015 Singapore International Film Festival. Manta Ray is his debut feature film.
Mai Meksawan, Philippe Avril, Jakrawal Nilthamrong, Chatchai Chaiyon
Wanlop Rungkumjad, Rasmee Wayrana, Aphisit Hama
*Official Selection, Busan International Film Festival 2018
*Orizzonti Award, Best Film, Venice FIlm Festival 2018