Play trailer
Dala Boatbreakers (2021)

Dala Boatbreakers

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


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.

Director's Biography

Kaung Swan Thar was born in Thanlyin on the other side of the Bago river from Yangon in 1997. 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 (2021), his first film as a director, was honoured by being selected for the prestigious ethnographic film Festival Jean Rouch in Paris. He has since made two more documentaries, one about a punk musician who helps run a soup kitchen and the other Pilikan – A Hindu Temple in Thanlyin in Myanmar.

Awards & Nominations

May, 2022
41st Jean Rouch Film Festival - World Premiere
Nomination Best International Documentary Film
Paris, France

Director's Filmography

Dala Boatbreakers




Dala Boatbreakers 8
Dala Boatbreakers 11
Dala Boatbreaker Still 02
Dala Boatbreaker Still 03
Dala Boatbreaker Still 05
Dala Boatbreaker Still 06
Dala Boatbreaker Still 07
Dala Boatbreaker Still 08
Dala Boatbreaker Still 09
Dala Boatbreaker Still 10
Dala Boatbreaker Still 11
Dala Boatbreaker Still 12
Dala Boatbreaker Still 13
Dala Boatbreaker Still 15
Dala Boatbreaker Still 17