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The Buffalo Boy (2004)
"Mùa len trâu" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  23 March 2005 (France)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 348 users   Metascore: 72/100
Reviews: 9 user | 7 critic | 4 from

Set along the southern coast of Vietnam during the French occupation in the 1940s, water is everywhere, giving life and bringing decay and rot. Kim is 15; his father and step-mother have ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
The Lu Le ...
Thi Kieu Trinh Nguyen ...
Huu Thanh Nguyen ...
Dinh, Kim's Father
Zan Sram Kra ...
Van Be Truong ...
Hai Tich
Anh Hoa Nguyen ...
Ba Hai
Thi Tham Nguyen ...
Ba Tu
Hoang Nhan Vo ...
Quang Thinh Truong ...
Van Day Nguyen ...
Kim Long Thach ...
Thi Thu Tam Cao ...
Huu Phuoc Nguyen ...
Chau Nguyen ...
Cha Ban
Trung Truc Thach ...
Kim, Age 5


Set along the southern coast of Vietnam during the French occupation in the 1940s, water is everywhere, giving life and bringing decay and rot. Kim is 15; his father and step-mother have two buffalo, their lifeline as subsistence rice farmers. During the rainy season, there's no grass and the buffalo are starving. Kim volunteers to take the beasts inland to find food. On this coming-of-age journey, Kim sees men mistreat women, men fight with men, and French taxes rob the poor. He works for Lap, a buffalo herder whose past is entangled with Kim's parents, and he makes friends who will lead him to his place in the world. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

buffalo | fight | water | vietnam | farmer | See All (20) »






| |


Release Date:

23 March 2005 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Gardien de buffles  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Vietnam's official submission to the 2006 Academy Awards. See more »

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User Reviews

You Wouldn't Want To Live Here!
24 August 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Frankly, I am surprised I hung with this movie because it's pretty slow. It's not a real "entertainer," except for two things: 1 - the camera-work is nice at times; 2 - the story is quite different from anything we are accustomed to in the West. But after two-thirds of this story had elapsed, it was tough going the rest of the way. It's not an uplifting story, either. It left me feeling depressed. Yet, it IS a memorable film and I'm glad I watched it.

I mean, as one reviewer says here "Vietnamese dude leads a bunch of buffaloes in search of grass. That's it."

Yes, in one sense he's right, but obviously there is more to it than that. We get glimpses of this guy's father and mother, friends, enemies, thieves, sex, loyalty and abandonment and generally what life must be like for those in this story of people who live in this odd environment. With all the water around them, they couldn't bury their loved ones until the dry season came. They wrapped them up and put them on poles, and hopes the crows didn't peck away at the bodies.

Yes, you wouldn't want to live here, at the southern tip of Vietnam with these rainy, long flood season. Lugging a couple of Water Buffaloes through waist-deep muddy water for miles can't be a great existence, either.

I agree with another critic here who labels this story as "lyrical." For the most part, I liked watching and listening to "Kim" (The Lu Le) give his outlook on various topics and the dialog between he and his father often was humorous. Hey, how many times have you/did you sit around and smoke "weed" and play the flute with your dad?

This is a culture far removed from mine, which is one reason why I stayed with this film - to learn something while witnessing some very foreign sights and sounds to me. I would recommend this only to people who know what they are getting into (something slow, and very different) or who just plain love most Asian films.

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