The Road to Mandalay (2016) Script

1,000 Thai baht, no Burmese kyat.

Why are you so late?

Too many Burmese checkpoints.

We've all been waiting for you. You're Lianqing?


Come on.

Who wants the back seats?

Okay, 9,000 baht, pay upfront.

Get in.

The boot is 8,000 baht.

You need a pill if you go in the boot or you'll get carsick.


You're in the front, no need.

It's fine.

You can have my seat, I'll go here.

Whatever... get in!

Check it.


Any other papers?


Check the boot.

Any other special papers?


No need to check.

It's just grain.

He can go.

Drive slowly, good luck!

Thank you.

You're Guo?

You're so tall!

Bro, you can go.

Why were you in the boot? You paid 10,000 baht!

Never mind, doesn't matter.

Four of you, right?

Wu, Jia'en, Wei...

And Fu'an.

You're all from Myitkyina?

I'm from Lashio.

Same difference.

You four get in.

Bro, the usual place.

Thank you.

No problem.

Someone will pick you up?

Yes, my friend.

Got a job waiting?

My friend will help me get one.

My cousin needs people, you wanna try?

No, my friend will help me.

Guo, come on!

That's my cousin's number, you can call me.


Take this, it's shrimp paste.

Maomei! Instant noodles again?

I love instant noodles.

That's Maomei.

This is Lianqing.

From Burma?


Have less instant noodles!

Sit over there.

It's hot, take off your jacket.

Hungry? Have some instant noodles.

Thank you.

You must be wiped out from the trip.

Where in Burma are you from?

From Lashio.

Which district?

Fifth District.

Do you have running water in Lashio?

In the city centre, not in our house.

You wanna find a job?


Got a boyfriend?

Hey, don't listen to her!

What she does is too hard!

Not at all.

It's easy and you earn a lot!

No way! She just got here!

It's Hua! Let me in!

It's Hua, open the door for her.

You're here.

Have some noodles, Hua.

What happened to your key?

I lost it on the bus.

I didn't want to go back, too much risk of trouble.

Right, time to lie low.

I haven't been to work for days.

Take your time, feel at home, have more noodles.

Finished? You eat so fast!

Lianqing, you want more?

No, I'm full.

No hurry.

Enjoy your meal.

Hua, I brought you these from Burma.

I pickled them myself.

And these, your favourite pickles.


My mum made this especially for you.

Dried pickles.

And a sarong, don't know if you'll like it.

You can buy all these here.

And wearing a sarong would be a giveaway.


Does your company need more people?

Can you introduce me?

You have no papers, who'll hire you?

No one will!

Hua's in a bad mood.

She has no papers, so she got fired.

Don't mind her.

There's plenty of work.

I'll help you.


Go get changed, take a rest.

After a night on the road, you must be tired.

I'll go get changed.

I wore this when I worked here...

...It was too big for me.

But it looks fine on you.


Long time no see!

Hello, sir.

You look sexier!

Thank you.

Don't just stand there, sit down!

Come on.

You sit there.

Sir, I've brought my friend to be interviewed.

It's been so long!

She's also...

...from Burma.

Yes. From the same place.

Any sales experience?

He asks if you have any sales experience.

I sold clothes in Burma before.

She sold clothes in Burma before.

Have some water.

Is she good?

Yes, she is. Sells a lot!

Can she speak English?

Yes, she graduated from senior high.

You went to the same school?

Yes, we were classmates.

How old are you?

How old are you?


She's 23.

Does she have a work permit?

She's applying now.

She needs a work permit.

Right away?

We didn't need one before.

When you and Maomei worked here... didn't need it.

You could apply for one later.

No matter what, you need a work permit.

You gotta have one if you want to work.

Any way around it?

You really need a work permit.

We're applying now.

Can you take her on for a month?

No, no.

You need a permit.

She's come all this way.

And she'd really like to work here.

Sir, can't you help her, please?

Cai, I really can't.

See me again when you have a permit.

Don't worry.

You've just got here. Don't worry.

Such a small company...

So damn strict!

They demand a work permit.

When we worked there, they didn't insist.

Now they're getting bigger, the boss goes by the book.

Never mind, I'll bring you to other places soon.


Can't I do what you do?

What Maomei and I do wouldn't suit you.

Don't worry about it.

I'll bring you to other places later.

It's a tough job.

Kitchen work pays higher.

12,000 baht.

You'd wash dishes, it's quite chaotic.

Which d'you prefer, waitressing or kitchen work?

Kitchen work.

It's a good job.

Don't look down on my restaurant, it may be small, but it's central, the business does very well.

Do your best.

If you're never late... get a 500 baht bonus each month.

If you do well, you get an annual bonus too.

We provide food and accommodation.

You can live on the fourth floor.

The rent is 1,000 baht per month.

Want to take a look?

You can stay with us for 500 baht I'll stay with them.

You be careful!

Xiang, where's your cousin?

She went to apply for a permit.

Damn! Not again!

When will she be back?

She's still waiting.

Damn! Tell her...

...No dinner! She can eat the permit!

Lianqing, you okay?

Work hard! Be a good girl!

The boss must have gambling losses again.

What are you doing here?

My big sister knows Hua.

So I heard you were living here.

You want some water?


Sis made dried mushrooms today.

I brought you some.

And some noodles too.

You're being too kind.

Not at all.

Feeling better today, Hua?


I bought a mobile phone.

What's your number?

I don't have one yet.

Not yet?

I'll write down my number.

Here you go.

The one I gave you before is my cousin's.

Call me if you need anything.

Hong, your wages.

Ling, here you are.

Count the money.

Count it now!

No changes once you've left the room!


You'll be up for a bonus next time.

Lianqing, your wages

Xiang, yours.

Fang, here you are.

Pan, here.

Baniang, when you wire money home, where does it go?

The Thai shoe shop run by Zhao.

The one next to the market?

That's right.

What's the exchange rate?

Yesterday, 3.1 baht to 100 kyat.

Please wire 4,500 baht for me.

How much is that in kyat?

3,100 baht is about 100,000 kyat.

So 4,500 is around 150,000 kyat.

They charge fees too.

That's okay.

My mum's ID and...

...Mrs Zhang's phone number.

When will she get it?

Three days.

Tell her to pick it up in three days.

If she's late, they'll forget about it.


Ling, where did you get this paper?

Here, in a small mountain village.

How much did it cost?

They said 5,000, but I paid more than 10,000 in the end.

Let me see what a mere 10,000 gets you.

Not much use, this thing.

So many 'permits' around these days.

Watch out!

Ling, you still have the contact's number?

You can't get one now.

Wait until next time they issue them.



Mrs Zhang?

Hello. It's Wang Lianqing.


You can't hear me?

This is Wang Lianqing.

The Wang Family from 5th District.

I'm calling from Bangkok.

Is my mum waiting there?



I'm fine.

How are you?

How are the little ones?

Ask them to study hard.

Yes, I know.

Listen, Ma I've had about 150,000 kyat wired to you.

You can get it from the Zhaos' shop three days from now.

The Zhaos' shoe shop.

You can get the money there.

Just give them your ID number.


Yes, I get it.

Ma, listen...

I've found a job.

Don't worry.

I'll save every penny.

That's all for now.

It costs a lot to call.



Can Lianqing spend tonight here?

No need...

I'll ask Baniang to pick me up.

It's late...

Baniang doesn't have real papers either.

The cops patrol the streets at night.

It's better you sleep here.

It's no trouble.

You can share the bed with me and my daughter.

Guo can sleep on the floor.

Don't worry, spend the night here.



Hua has lost her mind.

She accused Lianqing of stealing money.

Then threw her out.


She has no real papers.

She got a low-pay job...

But now she's lost it.

Things are tough for her.

Maybe she's cracked!

Don't worry, don't dwell on it.

It's late, come to bed when you're done here.


Lianqing, why so late?

You'll lose your monthly bonus!

Lianqing, you're late!

There's a mountain of dishes waiting!

I'm on it.

You don't have to live here.

You can stay with my sister.

She won't charge rent.

Her place is too far away.

It takes at least half an hour by bus.

Let's go.

To the factory.

What are you doing with my bags?

To the factory.

Why there?

It's better to work in the factory.


You wash dishes here.

12,000 baht per month...

From 8 am to 10 pm.

14 hours, that's 28 baht per hour.

In the factory, you get 300 baht a day.

From 8 am to 4 pm...

37 baht per hour...

50 baht for every extra hour...

You work at least five hours extra so that's 250 baht.

If you work 13 hours a day. It's 550 baht

600 baht for 14 hours.

You'll earn at least 18,000 baht a month.

Plus a place to stay! Why not try it?

Thank you for your kindness.

But I still want to stay here.

Hello, placing an order?

I'm looking for Lianqing, is she in?

She's not here, what do you want?

Where has she gone?

It's her day off.

She went to Thai class with Jin.

Police! Open the door!

There's no way out.

Police! Don't move!

Pan, don't jump!

Come out!

Come out!

All of you!

Your hand...

Give me your hand.

Get up!

Come with us.



Good day, sir.

I'm sorry, I've made a mistake.

I won't do it again.

This is...

...a token of our gratitude.

No smoking in the office.

This is government-owned.

Watch what you do!

I'll be very careful.


Thank you, sir.

Let me treat you to dinner tonight.

You people don't have the right papers.

So don't come back.

Nothing I can do.

Come see me when you get papers.

Guo paid 8,000 baht... bail you out.

Pack up your things and go.

You all right?

Come on, let's pick up your stuff.

Remind me, where are you from?


Which district?


That's where I'm from too!

Okay, I'll tell you how we run things here.

There are some rules.

You're here now.

So stop thinking about Bangkok.

Work hard.

No mobiles, only the foreman has one.

If you need to call, there's a phone in the shop.

All workers here have to wear a badge.

Yours is number 369.

Here you're not Lianqing, you're 369.

Got it?

Guo, fix it on her.

Take today off and start from tomorrow.

I can start working today

I'll take care of her.

That's fine.

New girlfriend?

Ignore him!

That's Fu'an.

And she's Zhi.

They're both from Burma.

Where are you from?


Which district?


I'm from Seventh, we're like neighbours!

That's Ersao, she's the forewoman.

You're Lianqing?


Now you're here, work hard!

Zhi will show you later.

Zhi, show her how to use the machine.

It's not hard to operate.

I'll show you.

Some speed to keep you awake!

On me!

Too much overtime!


Just a moment.









Hello, is it Wuniang?

My name is Lianqing, my friend Ersao gave me your number.

Yes, I'm calling from Bangkok.

It's about a "registration paper".

When are they next available?

I don't have a phone.

You can call Ersao.

I'll give you her number.




That's right.

I'll wait to hear from you.

Thank you.

What did she say?


I have to wait.

You don't need papers here, so why bother?

If I have papers I can get a better job in the city.

You'll earn less there.

Like when you washed dishes.

I just want to work in the city.

If you want to stay here, you're on your own!

Lianqing, come on!

Lianqing, come on!

Why are you here?

I saw that you'd gone, that's why.

You're soaked, you should get changed.

I'll go back when I've put on this thanakha.


Why waste money?

Such expensive stuff!

Never mind, it's fake.

One day I'll buy you a real one.

You're here. It's the right place!

We're there!

Bring them some noodles.

Thanks, but it's okay.

Eat first.

When can we get the papers?

Have some noodles first.

No rush, spend the night here.

You can get the papers tomorrow.

The officials are coming tomorrow.

Rest up tonight.

You've brought money for the papers?


Then hand it over.


Of course now.

This is why the officials come all this way.

Shouldn't we pay when we get the papers?

You have to pay in advance.

No, payment in advance.

Just pay!

Those busy officials come... all this way to help you.

You have to pay in advance.

How about the 'road toll' I paid?

We paid the fare!

Not included in the fare.

Can we settle up when we get back?


Anyway, you have to take us back!

You must pay it tomorrow.

You're up early.

Couldn't sleep.

What's wrong?

You're not feeling well?

We're wasting money on those papers.

We don't need them.

Yes, we do.

With papers, we'll get better jobs.

Then, when we've saved up, we can apply for Thai passports.

And with a Thai passport...

...we can go to other places.

Other places?

Such as?


You'd still have to work in Taiwan!

What difference does it make?

I've been thinking.

When I've saved one million baht, I'll open a shop in Burma...

I'll import clothes from China.

Have you thought of getting married?

No, I haven't.

It's not the right time yet.

Hello, everyone.

Today you register your details... apply for ID papers.

If anyone's already filled in the form, please check the details and sign it.

Students... who have filled in the form at school...

...double-check the details before you sign.

I'll say it again: Don't tell lies!

It's a crime to lie!

All the details must be true.

First, please.

When will I get the paper?

We'll contact you.

I'll contact you.

Move along!

Next, please.



Take painkillers, painkillers.

Open your mouth!

Tell them to sign.

I'll explain this to you.

It's a settlement contract.

Fu'an, a Burmese national, born in 1993...

...had an accident in the factory.

It was due to his own carelessness.

As a result, his leg is broken.

The factory pays 40,000 baht for his medical bill.

By accepting the payment, you agree to the settlement and, promise not to sue for further payments.

Guo, sign here.

Guo, sign it.

Lianqing, sign it.

Come on, Lianqing, sign it.


Sign it, Zhi... you're his partner.

Here's 40,000 baht.

Count it.


Give us a break!

Fu'an's leg is broken.

How can he earn a living back in Burma?

Boss, they want more money.

No, that's the deal.

Don't argue, that is the deal.

Count it!

Zhi is still in shock, count it for her.


Take care.

Come back to Burma when you've saved enough.

Don't stay here.

Take this.

Thank you.

Don't come back.

I'm off.

Where are the papers?

The officials have left.

You're late.

Too many checkpoints.

You have to pay 3,000 baht.

I gave you 8,000 baht last time! Why more now?

The officials have left.

It costs more when you're late.

The people who were just here paid it.

Where are the papers?


This has no real legal value.

It doesn't confer any rights.

It doesn't replace an ID card or a work permit.

All it states is your nationality... place of birth... age... the names of your parents...

...and your religion.

There's no ID number either.

In law... can't be used as a work permit or ID card.

Do you have any other documents or papers?


Then it won't do.

This document cannot be used to apply for a job.

Here you are.

I'm sorry.


Wuniang called many times.

Didn't Guo tell you?

No! What was it about?

Don't know, she didn't tell me anything.

When did she call?

About two weeks ago.

What did she say?

I've no idea, ask your boyfriend!

She must have said something?

I felt she didn't want me to know.

Something about your papers.





What did Wuniang say to you?


What did she say to you?

You took her call!

Why didn't you tell me?

You don't need those papers!

You don't, but I do!

What do you need them for?

To wash dishes?

To sell sex?

All visitors must sign at the office.

There's a 500 baht fine for violations of the rules.

Theft of tools will lead to instant dismissal.

Very strict rules for such a small company!

Who drew them up?

Was it the foreman?

We know him very well.

He's from Burma too.

So, do you need my help?

Don't be shy, we've known each other so long.

How much would I make?

You've got a boyfriend?


What's his name?

You know him, it's Guo.

That simple boy Guo?

Have you slept with him?

No. So you're a virgin?

No problem, we're both Burmese, I can help you.

You'll have to dress well.

Look pretty.

How much could I earn?

Around 150,000.

Lianqing, over here!


This is Wuniang.

I'm here.

Yes, I'm here.

They're here too.


He wants 300,000 baht.

I'll pay when I get the ID.

Give him the money now.

Or don't you want it any more?

Come on, we know this officer very well.

Listen carefully.

From now on, you're not Burmese.

Your name is Meiyi Gaoyu.

Your father's name is Achi.

Your mother's name is Zhongyi.

Don't worry that your Thai isn't good.

You're from the mountains.

It's normal that your Thai isn't so good.

Everyone in the local council works for me.

Don't be nervous.

No refund if you mess it up.

And you'll end up without the ID.


Remember all the details.

Don't forget anything.


Get in the car.

Get in the car.


Sit down.

She's my niece.

Just came back from Bangkok.

She lost her ID in Bangkok a couple of days ago.

She needs a replacement.

A replacement of her ID card?

What's your name?

My name is Meiyi Gaoyu.

That's your real name?

Yes. Meiyi Gaoyu. My real name.

Where were you born?

Somai Village.


2 Feb 2535 (Buddhist calendar)

How old are you?

I'm 23.

Your father's name?

Achi Gaoyu.

Mother's name?

Zhongyi Gaoyu.

Remember your ID number?


22 555 3902 1756 Where did you lose it?

On the bus in Bangkok.

Any guarantor?


I'm from Somai Village.

I guarantee she's from our village.

You sure?



Put your thumb prints here.

Stand there for the photo.

Go on.


Stand still, look at the camera.

A bit to the left.

Lift your head up.

One more.

Okay, please sit down.

Go wait outside.

Thank you.