"...a hauntingly powerful story...a cinematic marvel." - Hollywood Reporter
Acclaimed Cambodian director Rithy Panh (S21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine) reveals the never-ending struggle of Cambodia's rice-paddy farmers in this powerful story of loss and survival. Rice People is a remarkable early feature film from Panh, who in 1979 narrowly escaped a Khmer Rouge labor camp and the genocide that claimed most of his family.
Poeuv and Om fight everything from cobras to floods to disease to grow a successful rice crop. When Poeuv dies from an infection caused by stepping on a thorn while plowing, Om must forge on to take care of her seven daughters. Adding to her troubles is the Old World attitude that her daughters are financial burdens - not the assets that sons would be.
Panh's dynamic camerawork throws us into the midst of the oozing mud of the paddies, which are so tightly linked to the life and death struggle of the rice people.