The Sea Wall
(Un Barrage Contre Le Pacifique)
Cert: 12A Year: 2008 Length: 115 mins Language: French
Cinema Handout (PDF 151KB)
Score: 63.64% Attendance: 90
Rithy Panh's period epic set in the rich landscape of French colonial Indochina is a highly successful adaptation of Marguerite Duras's acclaimed semi-autobiographical novel. As the sea rises, the film tells the compelling story of a mother (an outstanding performance by current top actress Isabelle Huppert) who is deceived into investing all her savings in worthless, regularly flooded farmland which is incapable of supporting crops. Dealing with the romantic escapades of both son and daughter, fighting to protect her family from destitution at the hands of a corrupt administration and battling both the colonial bureaucrats and nature itself, she enlists the help of the local villagers, with an elaborate plan to keep out the sea and secure the future of both her family and the local community.
Impressively directed... the always excellent Isabelle Huppert gives an intriguingly complex performance
Robust, enjoyable storytelling. Peter Bradshaw
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