Reporter Judith Wilkes leaves her husband and two sons in Sydney and goes to Malaysia to cover the story of the Vietnamese boat people. She becomes romantically involved with Kanan, and ...
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Reporter Judith Wilkes leaves her husband and two sons in Sydney and goes to Malaysia to cover the story of the Vietnamese boat people. She becomes romantically involved with Kanan, and strikes up a friendship with Lady Minou Hobday, who keeps a regular vigil at "Turtle Beach" where the refugees try to land secretly in the hope that one day her own children will arrive. Accompanying Minou one night, Judith witnesses a brutal massacre by the Malaysians which spurs her on to expose the horrors of the internment camps at Bidong.Written by
Jonathan Ridsdale <JR@kingston.ac.uk>
Lightweight film that doesn't have the depth for its serious subject
In a nutshell: Greta Scacchi uses the heart-wrenching plight of the Vietnamese boat people to get a fabulous tan.
OK, that's an exaggeration, but the film suffers from a lack of heft. Its intentions are good, and its heart is in the right place, but....
Very much in the same manner as a porn film, which would only muster the most minimal plotline to move the film from sex scene to sex scene, this is almost a documentary with the minimal plot necessary to justify making a movie about the subject. The performers are lightweights, as well, many of them (notably Joan Chen) just barely able to deliver a line with credible inflections. The acting is so stilted and superficial, watching this movie is like listening to a Van Damme impersonating contest on Saturday Night Live.
Sadly, it's not bright enough to be an art film, and not slick enough to be a popular entertainment. I don't know who they thought their audience might be.
Despite possessing such rich emotional material, the filmmakers failed to strike the powerful chord which should have been inherent in the situation.
3 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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