Dust of Life


1975 : The Communist Army defeats the South Vietnamese Forces, Saïgon falls while U.S. Troops leave hurriedly. Many of these American soldiers leave a woman behind and children as well. Son is one of this Amerasians. Two months after the fall of Saïgon, the new government launches a large “reeducation program” for the children roaming about the streets of the city. They will be placed in “work camps”. Taken away by the Bo-Doï, Son and other children crammed into trucks, then hauled across the country to the Nothern High Plains, in search of a camp. Once at the camp, the kids are forced to work at clearing the land. They are submitted to revolutionary order and ethics. Son and his three friends, Bob, Shrimp and Little Hai end up with a crazy bet : build a raft in order to escape and reach … the USA ! Nothing will stand between the kids and their impossible dream : neither taunts nor blows, nor the Greaser, not even being thrown into the Tiger Cage. And above all, not Fanta Hill, whose terrible secret Son will discover. Then begins the crazy runaway in raft …



Cannes “Rencontres cinématographiques”
* Grand Prize
* CICAE Prize

Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival
* Best Film

Flanders Internation Film Festival Ghent
* Official Competition

Montreal World Film Festival
* Official Competition

Telluride Film Festival
* Official Competition


Young Artist Award
* Outstanding Youth Actor in a Foreign Film


* Nomination for Best Foreign Language Film

Golden Globe Awards
* In competition for the Best Foreign Film