A film with classic power. A drama in which people have to take up arms against scarcity and the inexorable power of nature. The story, based on short narratives by the Vietnamese writer Son Nam from the French colonial era, is set in the far south of Vietnam, not far from the sea. Kim (Le The Lu) is a fifteen-year-old boy who lives with his aged parents on a piece of land that gets flooded during the long rainy season. In that period, the two water buffaloes, the largest and most essential possessions of the family, have to be taken to higher meadows to survive. The professional herders, rough Mafioso cowboys, ask too much money for the job, so Kim is sent off with the buffaloes on his own. Kim survives the barren journey and the attacks of criminal herders, but does lose one of the buffaloes. Even then, the battle against the elements, against his father, who reveals a great secret on his deathbed, and against the gangster herders is not yet fought. Not to mention the battle against the water. Severe elements, but they ensure breathtaking pictures. In this sense, this very oriental film bears a striking similarity to the western, in which an adventure is always seamlessly interwoven with a wild and vast landscape. The story is also told with clarity and self-assurance; it is barely conceivable that this is a début. (GjZ)

Original title
Muoa len trau
Filmmaker
Minh Nguyen-Vô
Premiere
-
Country
Vietnam, France, Belgium
Year
2004
Medium
35mm
Length
102’
Language
Vietnamese
Producer
Novak Prod
Sales
Pyramide International
Writer
Minh Nguyen-Vô