Dala Boatbreakers (18’43”)
Dala Boatbreakers 1





D A L A   B O A T B R E A K E R S

A backbreaking job on the banks of the Yangon river in Myanmar

Director Kaung Swan Thar | Camera Yan Paing Htun | Sound Recordist Paing Aung

Project Mentor Nwaye Zar Che Soe | Editor Zin Mar Oo

Editing Mentor Melanie Sandford ase | Music by Skaila Kanga


The port of Dala on the banks of the Yangon river in Myanmar is a final destination for old boats. This short documentary unobtrusively observes the hazardous, backbreaking work of a group of boat wreckers as they go hammer and tong at these old hulks, tearing them apart under the hot sun – often with their bare hands – for a meagre wage.


Kaung Swan Thar (24) was born in Thanlyin on the other side of the Bago river from the city of Yangon. He took up studies in history at Yangon’s Eastern University in 2019 but his desire to use images to tell stories has since drawn him to photography and, in 2020, he started training in filmmaking at YFS. An alumnus of the Yangon Photo Festival, his 2017 photo-story ‘Underground Lives’ portrays the people who live underneath railway workers’ dwellings. Dala Boatbreakers is his first film as a director.


May 2022  41st Jean Rouch Film Festival, Paris, France


Nomination for Best International Documentary Film



Duration 18’43’’ | Format 16:9 anamorphic | System PAL | Subtitles English | 2021

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