Indochina, 1931. In the Gulf of Siam, a mother survives as best she can with her two children, Joseph (20) and Suzanne (16), who she watches grow up and whose departure she knows is inevitable. Abused by the colonial administration, she has invested all her savings in a block of land that is regularly flooded, and is therefore unable to be farmed. Fighting against the corrupt bureaucrats who’ve cheated her, and who now threaten to evict her, she puts all her energy into a crazy project: to construct a sea wall with the help of the village farmers. Ruined and obsessed by her undertaking, she more or less leaves Joseph and Suzanne to their own devices. It is then that M.Jo, the son of a rich Chinese businessman, falls under Suzanne’s spell. The family tries to take advantage of the situation. –uniFrance
Rithy Panh was born in Phnom Penh. His father was a school teacher and inspector of primary schools.
His family and other residents were expelled from the Cambodian capital in 1975 by the Khmer Rouge. Rithy’s family suffered under the regime, and after he saw his parents, siblings and other relatives die of overwork or malnutrition, Rithy escaped to Thailand in 1979, where he lived for a time in a refugee camp at Mairut.
Eventually, he made his way to Paris, France. It was while he was attending vocational school to learn carpentry that he was handed a video camera during a party that he become interested in filmmaking. He went on to graduate from the Institut des hautes études cinématographiques (Institute for the Advanced Cinematographic Studies). He returned to Cambodia in 1990, while still using Paris as a home base.
His first documentary feature film, Site 2, about a family of Cambodian refugees in a camp on the Thai-Cambodian border in the 1980s, was awarded… read more