The Sea Wall (2008)
"Un barrage contre le Pacifique" (original title)

 |  Drama  |  7 January 2009 (France)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 542 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 15 critic

A troubled mother's spirit crumbles when her adult children strike out for independence. Feeling abandoned she contemplates taking drastic action.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Randal Douc ...
Monsieur Jo
Vanthon Duong ...
Stéphane Rideau ...
Lucy Harrison ...
Doeun Thenn Nan ...
M. Khing
Chorn Solyda ...
Le père Sok (as Solida Chorn)
Ingrid Mareski ...
La femme de Pierre
Louis Arsac ...
Rosa Meas ...
Mang Son ...
Phén Vann ...
Le chef du village
Jean-Pol Brissart ...
M. Bideau


French Indochina, 1931. In the Gulf of Siam, a Widow and her two children, Joseph, 2o, and Suzanne, 16, barely survive by exploiting rice fields located much too close to the ocean. Every year their crops are flooded and their only hope lies in the construction of a seawall. The mother refuses to give up and desperately battles both the sea and the corrupt colonial bureaucrats ... Written by Guy Bellinger

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Release Date:

7 January 2009 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Ena fragma ston Eiriniko  »

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French visa # 119169 delivered on 24-11-2008. See more »


Remake of The Sea Wall (1957) See more »

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User Reviews

Pretty pictures rather than an engaging plot
23 August 2015 | by (Derry, Ireland) – See all my reviews

Originally filmed in 1957 by Rene Clement and with an international cast headed by Jo Van Fleet, Silvana Mangano and Anthony Perkins, (I haven't seen it), "The Sea Wall" is based on a novel by Marguerite Duras and is set in Indochina in 1931. This version, directed by the Cambodian director Rithy Panh, is a visually sumptuous epic centered mainly on Isabelle Huppert's fine performance as the matriarch.

The plot is the fairly conventional one of someone fighting both nature and bureaucracy to retain control of their land, a theme common from a number of American based pictures, though the beauty here of the 'exotic' locations gives the film an added dimension while the director's background in documentary adds to the authenticity. Perhaps it could do with a greater sense of urgency, (you tend to be beguiled by the pictures rather than the plot), but it's still a fairly pleasant way to pass a couple of hours, particularly on a wet Saturday afternoon.

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