Based on the best novel of Marguerite Duras (autobiographical), the movie is just as good as the novel. Unusual enough to be underlined.
Bangkok and Nakhorn Pathom in the late 50's feature a very realistic colonial Viet nam. Sylvana Mangano is larger than life and Anthony Perkins is good. René Clément was definitely one of the best French movie directors (a French Kazan ?) and one of the best in his days.
A struggling French family in the Mekong delta during corrupt colonial days. A mother who does what she can to make ends meet and a son who goes slightly astray. There is something of the "Grapes of Wrath" in this movie, something of "East of Eden" as well.
Why is "Barrage contre le Pacifique", made in English, one of the left for dead wonders of post war cinema ? I don't know. I certainly recommend a second viewing of it.
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