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Indochine [VHS]


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Product Details

  • Actors: Catherine Deneuve, Vincent Perez, Linh Dan Pham, Jean Yanne, Dominique Blanc
  • Directors: Régis Wargnier
  • Writers: Régis Wargnier, Alain Le Henry, Catherine Cohen, Erik Orsenna, Louis Gardel
  • Producers: Alain Belmondo, Alain Vannier
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: French, Vietnamese
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home E
  • VHS Release Date: February 15, 2000
  • Run Time: 159 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6302986109
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #207,293 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Régis Wargnier's 1992 Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film is a bit like watching paint dry, despite its exotic locale and lead performance by the legendary Catherine Deneuve (Belle de Jour, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg). Deneuve plays a wealthy French landowner, born and raised in Indochina, from 1930 until 1955, the year of a Communist takeover. The brewing political changes bound to upset her fortune and destiny find an even more personal parallel in her relationship with an adopted daughter (Linh Dan Pham), who grows up and becomes independent. The outline of this scenario sounds pretty good, but the film is flat and unworthy of its star. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Littrell HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 8, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
There is some difference of opinion about whether this is a good film or not. Some have called it a "soap opera" beautifully filmed. (Both Leonard Maltin in his Movie and Video Guide and the good people at Video Hound used that designation.) But I don't think that is correct at all. Beautifully filmed yes, stunning at times like something from David Lean; and in fact this film has more in common with the Hollywood panoramic epic than it does with the tradition of the French cinema. But it is certainly not a soap opera. In a soap opera the important element is a narrow focus on things material, social, and sexual played out in a banal, cliche-ridden and bourgeois manner. In Indochine the focus is on political change and why it came about.
The story begins in Vietnam in 1930 and concludes on the eve of the communist revolution in 1954--presaging the tragic American involvement a decade later. Catherine Deneuve plays Eliane Devries, the strong-willed owner of a rubber plantation in Vietnam, then part of the French colonial empire. Having no children of her own (or a husband) she raises the Vietnamese girl Camille (Linh Dan Pham) as her own. She conducts secret affairs (and even visits opium dens) while maintaining the appearance of respectability. We are shown the decadence of the French living in Vietnam and the exploitive evils of colonialism, hardy the stuff of soap opera. We are made aware of the social unrest stirring amongst the population and even shown what amounts to a slave auction conducted by the colonial powers with the aid of the French military, in particular, the French navy.
Enter Jean-Baptiste (Vincent Perez), a handsome French naval officer who, despite the difference in their ages, initiates an affair with Eliane.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Peggy Vincent on December 1, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
Perfectly cast Catherine Deneuve plays a wealthy French woman born and raised in Indochina prior to the Communist takeover of what becomes Vietnam in 1955. She has adopted a native girl as her daughter, and the tragedy begins to play itself out as the child grows up and becomes part of the revolution.
Lushly filmed, giving a realistic picture of Hanoi and the countryside before decades of war and destruction decimated Vietnam.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer on January 13, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
This film encompasses many themes, and is overall a very fufilling movie. I really found this movie inspirational in my studies of french. This movie really teaches one who is interested in the end of the French Colonization of Vietnam. The symbolic relationship of Catherine Deneuve with her adopted daughter is particularly moving when you examine it on two levels. One, the emotional seperation of a mother from her daughter. Two, this seperation also illustrates the Vietnamese people's choice to turn away from the French rule. In essence, when the daughter chooses to leave her french mother, it displays the choice to become one with her people and to turn away from the ideals even of her adpoted mother. Overall I believe that this movie is one which should be viewed by all those who are interested in Vietnam and the signifigance of the French colonization there.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Tribe fan on March 24, 2001
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
I teach social studies to grades 10 and 11. An English teacher recommended Indochine to me. I am so glad she did. The kids get totally engrossed and there is enough historical backrgound to facilitate several lessons: 1)European Imperialism, 2) French Involvement in Vietnam, 3) Vietnamese Nationalism, and 4) the Mandarin Class in Vietnam. I have shown this video for three years now. The kids consitently rate it tops and they enjopy the writing assignment/learning log I assign with it. The characters are complex and well developed. As a Vietnam veteran, I also appreciate the movie in its own right. This is one great flick.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Farrar on August 8, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Having lived and worked in Vietnam for ten years, and being married to a Vietnamese woman who could have doubled for Miss Pham when we met thirty five years ago, its thumbs up and five stars from me. The French influence in South Vietnam is still very strong. Vietnam is as beautiful as reflected in this film. If, like me, you don't care for films with sub-titles, or things French, give this one a shot. You will be very glad that you did.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By sandy807 VINE VOICE on February 2, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
This exquisite film places romance, danger, emotional and political turmoil on a backdrop of beautiful photography. Catherine Deneuve plays a perfect role as Eliane, a single, powerful woman in charge of a plantation in what was then Indochina, and soon to be Viet Nam. The orphaned Asian baby girl she adopts grows up to fall in love with Jean Babtiste, the same man that Eliane is having an affair with. This point feels somewhat like a soap opera, but the movie quickly launches into so much more, with many plot elements that lead daughter Camille on a desperate and dangerous journey to follow Jean to a remote mlitary outpost.
When Camille witnesses an atrocity against a friend, she kills a Frenchman, and she and Jean become refugees. They are caught in the events of political chaos, surrounded by an uprising against the French, and surging Communism. Matters are complicated when Camille gives birth, and the family is torn asunder. I won't give away any more of the plot, but there is much more that happens. The movie's history lesson, as well as its emotional charge and colorful scenery in that Asian land, kept me glued to the screen.
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