The Venice Days section of the Venice International Film Festival is an independent sidebar designed to be an alternative to the Festival’s official areas and promote high quality cinema without any kind of restriction. This year, the section features films representing 20 nationalities and seven directed by female filmmakers.
One of the films in the section is Midi Z’s “The Road to Mandalay,” a powerful and tragic love story about two illegal immigrants from Myanmar on a journey to a better life. It follows Lianqing (Wu Ke-Xi), a beautiful and resolute woman determined to leave poverty behind and cross illegally into Thailand. Along her way, she meets a kind fellow migrant Guo (Ko Kai), a man who simply wants to work for a while and bring money back to Burma. While in Thailand, their two fates intertwine as Lianqing experience hardship in the central area of Bangkok, including a precarious job and hostile hosts. She moves to the outer suburbs of the city to work in the factory where Guo works, but both soon discover the road to acquire legal identity papers and work permits to be more difficult and demanding than expected. The two are forced to endure terrible hardships in order to have any sort of life together. Watch an exclusive trailer for the film below.
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This is Midi Z’s fourth narrative feature film. He has previously directed “Return to Burma,” “Poor Folk,” and “Ice Poison.” He has also directed the documentaries “Jade Miners” and “City of Jade.”
“The Road to Mandalay” will premiere in the Venice Days section at the Venice International Film Festival, which runs from August 31st through September 10th.