The film portrays the life of a family separated from the mainstream of modern society, yet containing within its microcosm the complex layers and dramas of human relationship: conjugal ... See full summary »
The film portrays the life of a family separated from the mainstream of modern society, yet containing within its microcosm the complex layers and dramas of human relationship: conjugal life, sexual trauma, and the failures and bonds of fatherhood, brother and sisterhood. The film is about a unique social stratum in a remote place in Vietnam with unspoken traditions, customs and lifestyles. But most of all, it is the universal story of a family that like all other families have to find the strength and direction in each other to navigate their way through the choices and consequences that make up human existence. Based on Nguyen Thi Ngoc Tu's best selling short story "Boundless Rice Field", winner of the best short story prize from the Vietnam Writer's Association in 2007 and the ASEAN Literature Award recently, Floating Lives will draw audiences into the colourful daily life of unsophisticated peasants scratching out a living in the beautiful but forgiving landscape of the immense, ... Written by
Nguyen Phan Quang Binh
One thing I've noticed about classical Vietnamese stories is that they are all tragedies. This film is born from that tradition despite being based on a contemporary short story.
Vietnamese cinema is still relatively new and growing but this film represents one of the best I've seen. The director is able to make you feel like you are living with the family on their boat due to the slow and realistic pace. Character development is so strong that by the end, you really do hope and wish for the family to find peace. Unfortunately, the happy ending never comes and you are left with an uneasy feeling- much like how real life is.
What makes this film even stronger is the gorgeous film score. This is an underdeveloped aspect of Vietnamese cinema but "Floating Lives" manages to deliver above and beyond. At times you have a full orchestra score and other times only minimalistic Vietnamese instruments. This contrast provides for a traditional western film experience while simultaneously keeping a Vietnamese soul.
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