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The Boy who lives by the Sea (2024)

The Boy who lives by the Sea

A hearing-impaired teenager and his beloved coastal home


Ko Aung was just a month old when Cyclone Nargis made landfall in Myanmar in 2008. The storm that ripped across the Ayeyarwady Delta taking the homes, the livelihoods, and the lives of so many, also cost him his hearing. Fourteen years later, another cyclone, Mocha, is about to hit his village of Ka Byat in Bogale Township. Ko Aung’s parents are keen to move away from the coast and live in a city where they are no longer at the mercy of the elements and their children can have a better education. As the teenager helps his father prepare their hut for the worst, he shares his love of his home and his unshakable belief that the sea can provide his family with everything they need.  

Director's Statement

‘I first met Ko Aung and his family when I visited their village a year ago whilst working on a friend’s documentary in the same area. As soon as I learned how he had lost his hearing, I knew that I wanted to make a film about him. When I was his age, it was my dream to become an artist; I consider myself extremely fortunate to be following this dream today. But whenever I thought of Ko Aung, my head would fill with questions: what is he going to do with his life? What is his dream? Will he become a fisherman like his father? What kind of life will he have in a village without a school, a clinic, or any kind of facilities? I made this film to find out.’ 

Director's Biography

Shwe Yee Oo was born in Yangon in 1999. She graduated from the National University of Arts and Culture with a major in painting in 2019, also gaining a diploma in music (violin) in the same year. Drawn to film in her teens, she had already worked for various production companies including Tagaung Animation Studio and subtitled many films when she took up studies at YFS in 2022. She has since worked on several YFS projects in various capacities, providing the soundtrack or camera on her peers’ works (including In the Heat of the Fire, The Goldsmiths) and has also collaborated on a short fictional project, Into the Night. For her first documentary as a director, she chose to portray two young monks in The Novice Brothers. The Boy Who Lives by the Sea is her second film. 

Director's Filmography

The Boy who lives by the Sea








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