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Australia · 2019
1h 33m
Director Rodd Rathjen
Starring Sarm Heng, Thanawut Kasro, Mony Rous, Saichia Wongwirot
Genre Crime, Drama

Hoping to find a better life as a factory worker, a teenage Cambodian rice farmer decides to run away to Thailand. However, he finds himself enslaved on a fish trawling boat. His spirit is tested as he is subjected to torture, abuse, and hard labor.

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Film Threat by Alex Saveliev

A grueling affair, purposefully so, bringing to mind Steve McQueen’s similarly relentless 12 Years a Slave. There’s not much respite to be found in those bloodied waters, nary a buoy to grasp.


The Hollywood Reporter by Deborah Young

Though grippingly shot and paced, its realism makes it not an easy watch. However, one never questions the horrific circumstances in which the protag finds himself and the ending provides a bitter sort of closure and enough salve on the wounds to make the story palatable.


Slant Magazine by Derek Smith

The film never quite pushes beyond the archetypal nature of its scenario to fully unearth its characters’ psychological turmoil.


Variety by Jessica Kiang

In doing justice to the stories of thousands, Rathjen has somewhat undersold the personal story of its single protagonist.


Rolling Stone by K. Austin Collins

It grows thrilling to watch. Rathjen’s careful script and intensive eye for environmental details deliver all of this to us with a steady rhythm.


The New York Times by Manohla Dargis

There is evil and it helps keep the world running, our clothes and food coming. This is the greatest, most difficult, most unspeakable violence laid bare in Rathjen’s measured, insistently political movie.


Movie Nation by Roger Moore

The detail, the worn-out wooden boat that is the main location, is perfect. And the calming effect of the sea is utterly spoiled by the tension that’s always there. Daily routine aside, every encounter with the pitiless crew is fraught with peril, and the violence when it comes — is shocking, primitive and sadistic.


Screen Daily by Sarah Ward

Diving deep into dark material yet always remaining afloat, it’s a potent feature debut from Australian filmmaker Rodd Rathjen.

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