Written and Directed by AUNG PHYOE
Short Film | 18 min | Drama | Color | Myanmar | 2022
Producer: Thu Thu Shein and Thaiddhi
Co-producer: Claire Marquet, Vít Janeček
Cast & Crew
Cast: Nandar Myat Aung, Thiri May Thu, May Paing Soe, Mg Bhone
Cinematographer: Thaiddhi, Location Sound: Sai Khong Kham
Edit: Thu Thu Shein, Art Direction: Moore Phyu
San Kyi (18) lives with his mother, widow Ei Ei Khin (45) and grandmother Ohn Kyi (70). San Kyi used to work in a garment factory and is currently out of work. Her mother was planning to marry her to Phone Shwe (40), and San Kyi did not like him. While working in the factory, San Kyi's best friend was Theint Theint Oo (25), who was also fired from her job. Since Theint would return to her hometown to work, San Kyi decided to run away with her. One day, when Grandma Ohn Kyi was ill and her mother was not at home, San Kyi gave her gold chain to Theint to sell and make money. When the grandmother was taken to the hospital, San could not contact Theint, who did not return in time.
Aung Phyoe is a writer, director, and film editor. He was born in Pakokku, Upper Myanmar. He is a B.Eng graduate from Nanyang Technological University Singapore, where he developed a strong interest in cinema by entering the cinema club at the university. He also began to take film classes and attend screenings at the Film Society in Singapore, which reinforced his passion for cinema.
Later, he earned a Diploma in Editing from a Mumbai-based film school, Whistling Woods International. His first short film “Seasonal Rain” was screened for Open Doors Screening at 71st Locarno Film Festival and he edited a feature film “Murder on the Road to Kathmandu” (2018). In 2018, he participated in the Autumn Meeting’s Director Workshop mentored by Tran Anh Hung. His second short film “Cobalt Blue” was selected to Pardi di domani - International Competition at 72nd Locarno Film Festival, which became the first Myanmar short film to be selected for competition.
I was born as an only son. It was a lonely childhood where I was never close to my father. I was brought up by my mother and grandmother. At 15, I left my family when I went abroad to study. During my late teens and early twenties, I experienced a certain kind of special feeling towards the kindness of certain friends. I would like to explore the process of getting attached to an individual, getting obsessed with other individuals’ affection in a selfish manner, and the affair of realization of oneself.
With this personal intention, I would like to explore the feeling of being in love through the perspective of an insecure person, where trust and mistrust interplay in a brutal and self-destructive way. Loneliness, uncertainty, desire, resentment, and revenge are the emotions embedded in the story to bring out the hopeful feeling at the end and the dramatic experience of being in love.
With this short film, I need to identify my visual style and the working style with my actors, since the film needs a certain style of acting, which is a big challenge for non-actors. They need to go through difficult emotions such as intimacy, anger, humiliation, confrontation, etc. While maintaining the main theme of the feature project, this short film explores a day in the characters' lives. It reflects the difficult living conditions of contemporary life in Myanmar after the coup, where an individual's life and future are at risk all the time. The plot shows glimpses of a society that lacks trust, created by years of divide-and-conquer tactics, where the relationship is reduced to basic primary needs-for monetary or opportunity exchange, and self-gain.
The cinematography consists of handheld shots, which reflect the urgency and uncertainty of the situation the characters are going through. The visual treatment is mostly simple and concrete, with the detailed mise-en-scène established for the authenticity of the character's world (working class in Yangon, Myanmar). The deeply layered ambient sound and diegetic sound are used to reconstruct the physical (COVID time and after the coup) and emotional atmospheres of the characters.