The Road to Mandalay

A movie about the relationship between two undocumented workers in Bangkok.

This film is 90% folk eating instant noodles, which I like because, rather than sermonising about the injustices of migrant exploitation, it just shows what your day’s like – long, tiring, eating fast food because you’ve got no time and no money for anything else, it’s hot, you want a wash, you want out these clothes. There’s no attempt to otherise the experience, it’s just like, “Know what it’s like to work? Well it’s like that but with more levels of shite”.

The relationship between Guo and the main lassie is always a bit up for grabs. Will it develop into a friendship? Will it blossom into a romance? Will it fly apart under the daily pressure? The ending is unexpected but both is and isn’t entirely out of left field.

Thoughts on this film include: Christ Thailand is beautiful. Christ thank fuck for health and safety laws. And fuck me, what is it that this factory makes – long plastic strands?

See this movie for lovely shots of long plastic strands.