This is my first Cambodian film and unfortunately it’s not very good. The film is about a family of rice planters headed by a mother and father who lived through the wars and Pol Pot. As such, both of them have a deep connection to the land and a sense of urgency that the rice must be planted and protected. It starts with documentary realism like in The Naked Island or The Tree Of Wooden Clogs. This part of the film is good, but it doesn’t last long. Soon the father is dead and mama goes crazy.
From this point on, the film is in full melodrama mode with the mama and her craziness at the center of the film. I understand that she was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder and her husband’s death pushed her over the edge, but it becomes all there is to the rest of the film and frankly it’s boring, not moving.
The visuals are beautiful and I never knew that crabs could swarm rice fields in such numbers, but I was disappointed. It’s middle of the road, so it’s worth a look.