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Islamabad

AG
Aijaz Gul
November 16, 2017

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‘The Buffalo Boy’

‘The Buffalo Boy’

Islamabad :Director: Minh Nguyen-Vo ‘The Buffalo Boy’ from Vietnam screened at Mandwa Film Club, Lok Virsa.

Vietnam does not carry the baggage of mediocrity in film making. After the successful struggle of independence and freedom, it has made few films but made its mark on low-budget realistic films, largely filmed on locations with shoestring budgets and co productions. This cinema is free from false and meaningless production effects which now include computer effects and almost always meticulous colour corrections and digital sound attractions during post-production.  A French-Vietnam co production, it was filmed in southern province of Vietnam and it is the reality which strikes us first here. Our central character, a boy of fifteens (on screen he looks much elder), is coming of age.

The time is around 1940, the French are leaving and Japanese are entering the field . The boy and his family are under stress: debt, disaster and death. The rural Vietnam at this point is least bothered as to who governs and from where.

Independent life is what youth want. Livestock (in this case buffalo) is what matter most. Livestock is everything for survival. The village has rainy season for six months where even burial takes place under water. Death of livestock is death of life here. Without disclosing the plot details, ‘The Buffalo Boy’ is a charming film with gorgeous locations.

The Director Minh Nguven-Vo holds a Doctorate in Sciences from UCLA (University of California) Los Angeles. He later studied film through extension programme of the University, and it was here where he completed screenplay for ‘The Buffalo Boy’, based on short stories. With a budget of less than one million dollars, the entire project was filmed on location during the flood season.

‘The Buffalo Boy’ is a tribute alone to human struggle for existence. The film was Vietnam's official submission for Academy Awards (Oscar) in 2006.  

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