at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

The Sea Wall (Un barrage contre le Pacifique)

The Sea Wall image
Wednesday, 2 March 2011
France/Belgium/Cambodia, 2008 (115 min)
French, Khmer with English subtitles

Director: Rithy Panh
Cast: Isabelle Huppert, Gaspart Ulliel, Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey, Randal Douc, Duong Vathon
Cinematographer: Pierre Milon
Music: Marc Marder

Rithy Panh adapts the 1950 novel by Marguerite Duras -a classic work of French literature- to make a compelling, sumptuous, yet politically astute film about his native country. The legendary Isabelle Huppert stars as the widowed matriarch of a small land-owning family in 1930s French Indochina (now Cambodia), who eke out a living from rice fields located perilously close to the ocean. Deceived by the colonial administration, she has invested all of her savings in worthless, regularly flooded farmland. Driven to fight against both nature and the corrupt bureaucrats who conned her and threaten expropriation, and refusing to accept the triumphant injustice of the system, she devises an imaginative scheme to build a dam against the sea with the help of the villagers. -Twitch

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