Indochina, in the late 1920s. A young French girl leaves her impoverished mother and brothers and returns to the boarding school where she will soon complete her studies. On the way, she encounters a rich and handsome Chinese man – their instant attraction is mutual, and very intense. She becomes his lover, but he cannot take her as his wife, for it is not permitted for him to marry outside of his caste. The girl’s mother sees an opportunity to extort money from the Chinese man for the benefit of her sons. Refusing to play the part of a prostitute, the girl goes her own way, but continues her passionate affair with her Chinese lover… –Films de France
Born in Draveil, south of Paris, France, Annaud attended the prestigious L’Institut des Hautes Etudes Cinematographiques. He graduated at the age of 20 and quickly achieved success directing commercials. Two years later he was sent to the French Cameroons as an Army Film Director by the National Service.
While in Africa, he trained locals to make their own movies while working on a series of educational films for the natives. The experience convinced him to film his first feature, Black and White in Color (1976), in Africa, and he took a year to raise the money. His hard work paid off with an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 1978.
Annaud’s follow-up, Coup de Tête (or Hothead) (1979), established his reputation in France, and his next film Quest for Fire (1981), a unique story of primitive man set 80,000 years ago, won French Cesar Awards for Best Picture and Best Director. He won the Cesar Award again directing Sean Connery in an adaptation of Umberto Eco’s challenging… read more