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In French Indochina, during the 1950s, a family of French colonists struggles to survive amid harsh economic times. The Dufresne family has invested all of its savings into a rice farm.The mother, Mrs. Dufresne, has given all of her love and care to raise her twins. The twins, brother Joseph and sister Suzanne are in their 20s and are inseparable. They love their mother who can sometimes be overly-protective, bossy and stressed out. The family has a few Vietnamese house servants who benefited from the family's generosity when they received free plots of land from the Dufresne homestead. Hard economic times are forcing many farmers to sell their lands to major landowners and corporations. The Dufresne family is regularly asked to sell their farm but mother Dufresne refuses. One day, Albert, the son of a local tycoon, is at the Dufresne farm offering 15,000 dollars for the lands. The price is fair but mother Dufresne refuses to sell, out of pride. Her son, Joseph, tired of the dead-end ... Written by
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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