La Cinémathèque @ La Maison Française : The Sea Wall (by Rithy Panh)
Wednesday, April 4, 2012 at 7:00 PM (EDT)
Washington, United States
Admission (cash or check only):
- General: $8
- Students w/id: $5
Un barrage contre le Pacifique
(The Sea Wall)
Cambodia/France/Belgium — 2008 — 85 min. — 35mm.
Directed by Rithy Panh
Cast: Isabelle Huppert, Gaspard Ulliel, Astrid Berges-Frisbey
In French with English subtitles
Widely praised following its world première as a Special Presentation at the Toronto International Film Festival, director Rithy Panh's celebrated period epic set in the rich landscape of French colonial Indochina is a highly successful adaptation of Marguerite Duras' acclaimed and semi-autobiographical novel Un barrage contre le Pacifique (The Sea Wall), featuring a stunning leading performance by BAFTA Award Winner and recipient of the European Film Academy's 2009 Achievement in World Cinéma, Isabelle Huppert.
Deceived into investing all of her savings in worthless, regularly flooded farmland, incapable of supporting crops and perilously close to the ocean, The Sea Wall tells the compelling story of one mother's fight to protect her family - Joseph and Suzanne - from destitution at the hands of a corrupt administration. Battling both the colonial bureaucrats and nature itself, she enlists the help of the local villagers, putting into place an elaborate scheme: building a dam against the sea to secure the future of both her family and the local community.
"Isabelle Huppert's brittle poise dominates this adaptation of Marguerite Duras's novel of colonialism in eclipse." — The Independent
"It's a strange alchemy indeed that operates throughout [...] transforming a classic, almost seemingly conformist film, into a tormented, embarrassing and exciting one." — Le Monde
Trailer (with English subtitles)