MANTA RAY by Phuttiphong Aroonpheng

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3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5 The hallucinatory and aesthetic qualities of the film, although hypnotizing, produce an abstract rather than poignant narrative. Willingly embarked on this sensitive and enigmatic dream, which unfolds by means of impressionist touches, we tend to lose sight of the Rohingyas’ very real, nightmarish plight…)

Near a coastal village of Thailand, by the sea where thousands of Rohingya refugees have drowned, a local fisherman finds an injured man lying unconscious in the forest. He rescues the stranger, who does not speak a word, offers him his friendship and names him Thongchai. But when the fisherman suddenly disappears at sea, Thongchai slowly begins to take over his friend’s life – his house, his job and his ex-wife…

Winner of the Grand Prize in the Orizzonti section of the 2018 Venice Film Festival, MANTAY RAY, Phuttiphong Aroonpheng’s first feature, calls forth the shattered destiny of the Rohingyas through a mute character, symbol of this silenced and abandoned community. Never overtly mentioned, we can nonetheless hear the whisper of their voices accompanying the sound effects created by Snowdrop, a French electronic duo.

MANTA RAY
(กระเบนราหู, Kraben Rahu)
A film by Phuttiphong Aroonpheng
With Wanlop Rungkumjad, Aphisit Hama, Rasmee Wayrana
2018 – Thailand– Drama – 105 min – 1.85 : 1  – Sound 5.1 – Thai

Screenplay:3 out of 5 stars (3.0 / 5)
Mise en scène:3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)
Interpretation:2.5 out of 5 stars (2.5 / 5)

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